• Cyberharassment Awareness Course (Cybac): influences from domestic abuse perpetrator programmes for its design and function

      Conradie, Liesl; Pitchford, Melanie; Myers, Ellie; Barnes, Jim; Short, Emma; Open University; University of Bedfordshire; Fatima College of Health Sciences, Abu Dhabi (International Journal of Cyber Criminology, 2020-06-30)
      Cyberharassment as a crime has increased significantly in recent years and is covered by legislation in the Protection from Harassment Act 1997. Cyberharassment can be targeted towards individuals or groups of people. Perpetrators can be unknown or known to their victims and the methods of harassment are diverse. The use of domestic abuse (DA) programmes for first time or low risk offenders are employed to reduce recidivism and to safeguard victims. A first step in creating a cyberharassment awareness course identified the aspects that appear to contribute to the effectiveness of these DA programmes. Various aspects contributed to the success of domestic abuse programmes and they were influential in the development of the cyberharassment awareness course. The main aspects considered and included or recommended are the need for treatment readiness, excluding some perpetrators, multi-agency working, and the location and intensity of the programme. The programmes that proved successful made use of a group contract and included individual and group work aspects, all of which were mandatory. Cognitive behaviour therapy formed the backbone of programmes and empathy awareness training was considered. The needs of individual perpetrators were to be catered to and victims included where possible.
    • Hapless, helpless, hopeless: an analysis of stepmothers' talk about their (male) partners

      Roper, Sandra; Capdevila, Rose; University of Bedfordshire; Open University (SAGE, 2020-03-31)
      The identity of stepmother is, in many ways, a troubled one – constructed as “other” and often associated with notions of “wickedness” in literature and everyday talk. This paper reports findings from a study on the difficulties faced by stepmothers and how they use talk about their (male) partners, often constructing men as hapless, helpless or hopeless, to repair their “troubled” identities. The data were collected from a web forum for stepmothers based in the UK and 13 semi-structured face-to-face interviews with stepmothers. The analysis took a synthetic narrative-discursive methodological approach, underpinned by feminist theory with particular attention to the discourses that were drawn on by participants and the constraints that these imposed. This paper presents these findings in relation to three constructions of their partners through which repair work was attempted: men as in need of rescue; men as flawed fathers; and men as damaged. The paper concludes with some suggestions for supporting stepmothers by challenging dominant narratives around families in talk, in the media and in government and institutional policies.
    • The need to improve fertility awareness

      Harper, Joyce; Boivin, Jacky; O'Neill, Helen C.; Brian, Kate; Dhingra, Jennifer; Dugdale, Grace; Edwards, Genevieve; Emmerson, Lucy; Grace, Bola; Hadley, Alison; et al. (Elsevier, 2017-04-08)
      Women and men globally are delaying the birth of their first child. In the UK, the average age of first conception in women is 29 years. Women experience age-related fertility decline so it is important that men and women are well-informed about this, and other aspects of fertility. A group of UK stakeholders have established the Fertility Education Initiative to develop tools and information for children, adults, teachers, parents and healthcare professionals dedicated to improving knowledge of fertility and reproductive health.