20192021

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Personal profile

Biography

Ellen Reeves is a Postdoctoral Research Fellow with the Monash Gender and Family Prevention Centre at Monash University. Ellen obtained her BA (Honours) from Monash University in 2017 and went on to undergo her PhD, which she completed in 2021. Ellen has previously worked as a research officer and teaching associate within Monash's criminology department. In 2017, Ellen worked as a research intern at NFP research organisation, Step Back Think, which sought to prevent social violence through various education campaigns. 

Ellen's research is particularly concerned with the unintended consequences of family violence law reform on women victim-survivors. Both her Honours and PhD theses examined the issue of women victim-survivors being misidentified as predominant aggressors in Victoria's family violence intervention order system. These studies drew attention to the complexities of women's use of force in relationships and their presentations of victimisation, and emphasised the need for trauma-informed and context-driven legal responses to adequately understand the experiences of victimisation and the nuances of coercive control. Ellen adopts a gendered lens in her research and draws particular attention to the legal system's perceptions of women's credibility, or lack thereof - an issue particularly relevant to women from disadvantaged and/or marginalised backgrounds. 

Ellen's research interests include family violence law reform, civil protection orders, policing, women's use of force in intimate relationships, court responses to family violence and judicial decision-making, and systems abuse. Her work, in examining the harmful effects that legal intervention can have on the lives of many victim-survivors of family violence, questions the law's appropriateness as a key mechanism of redress. 

Ellen is at present working on several projects, including a nationwide study on Australians' experiences of coercive control and their views on criminalisation. As part of this study, Ellen is currently further exploring LGBTQIA+ persons' experiences of coercive control and of legal help-seeking. Ellen is also working on a project on domestic violence disclosure schemes (DVDSs), which will build an evidence based on their effectiveness and use in Australia, based on the perspectives of key system practitioners and victim-survivors. 

Ellen has published her research in a number of reputable Australian and international journals. She has also contributed to several government submissions, including the Australian Law Reform Commission's inquiry into the family violence system and more recently, the NSW Joint Select Committee on Coercive Control. 

Research area keywords

  • family and domestic violence
  • gender
  • Policing and Victims of Crime
  • court responses

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