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Dr Nicole Renehan

Assistant Professor

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Assistant Professor in the Department of Sociology  


I am currently a ESRC Research Fellow exploring how domestic violence perpetrator programmes can be more responsive to autistic men and/ or those with ADHD who use violence and abuse in their intimate relationships. This fellowship builds upon some of the insights from my PhD which suggested that mainstream criminal justice programmes are not catered to meet the needs of neurodivergent men. During the Fellowship I will also collaborate with Dr Kate Fitz-Gibbon at Monash University (Melbourne) to map domestic abuse service provision for neurodivergent men using violence in their intimate relationships across the United Kingdom and Australia. 

I completed my ESRC and President’s Doctoral Scholar Award funded PhD at the University of Manchester in 2020. In this research I interrogated the ‘black box’ of the criminal justice Building Better Relationships (BBR) programme and explored the experiences and perspectives of convicted men who attended the programme to understand what might work (or not), for whom and under what circumstances. This involved in depth interviews which considered the complexities of the men’s lives and whether BBR was responsive to the myriad of reasons for male violence. I also produced a summary of my thesis and key findings to make this research more accessible to a wider audience.

I also explored the experiences, perspectives, lives and wellbeing of programme facilitators, important practitioners who are too often forgotten in the context of research, policy and practice. The findings have now been published open access in the Probation Journal The British Society of Criminology Blog recently published my blog on the neglected role and wellbeing of criminal justice interventions facilitators which I wrote in response to the 29th September 2021 #HiddenHeroes celebration of the unsung work of prison and probation practitioners.


Research projects

I have recently completed a research project, where I was a research Associate, on victim-survivor experiences and perspectives on Clare’s Law and Domestic Violence Disclosure Schemes. This British Academy funded research was led by Dr Charlotte Barlow and co-led by Professor Sandra Walklate, and we developed a range of accessible resources to raise awareness of such schemes which are available for public use.

Research interests

  • Intimate partner violence
  • Male violence towards women
  • Neurodivergence
  • Gender and masculinities
  • Interventions, practice and wellbeing
  • Criminal justice


Chapter in book

  • Nicole Renehan (2019). Applications of psychotherapy in statutory domestic violence perpetrator programmes: challenging the dominance of cognitive behavioural models. In The Routledge Companion to Rehabilitative Work in Criminal Justice. Pamela Ugwudike, Hannah Graham, Fergus McNeill, Peter Raynor, Taxman, Faye S & Chris Trotter United Kingdom: Routledge. 383-392.

Doctoral Thesis

  • Renehan, N (2020). Building Better Relationships? Interrogating the ‘Black Box’ of a Statutory Domestic Violence Perpetrator Programme. PhD.

Journal Article

Other (Digital/Visual Media)

  • Renehan, N (2021). Criminal Justice Interventions Facilitators: Unsung Hidden Heroes or Forgotten Variables? The British Society of Criminology Blog.


Supervision students