Rachel Fenton

Rachel Fenton graduated from Cardiff University with First class honours in Law and Italian (LLB), winning the Sir Samuel Evans prize for the best First class degree between the Law schools of the University of Wales and the Edwards Geldard prize for the best Law and Languages degree. Rachel went on to complete her PhD at Cardiff University and subsequently became a Lecturer in law at Cardiff.

Rachel moved to the University of the West of England as a Senior Lecturer and Associate Professor, winning the Vice Chancellor’s award for Outstanding Researcher of the Year with Impact in 2016 before joining the Law School at Exeter in 2017.

Research Interests

Rachel’s research interests lie in the areas of bystander intervention for the prevention of violence against women, gender and the law, sexual offences and assisted reproduction. She has published widely in these areas, including on Italian law.

Rachel is the Project Lead for the Public Health England – funded work on bystander intervention for the prevention of sexual and domestic violence in university settings. The creation of the first evidence-based bystander programme for England, The Intervention Initiative, and accompanying research by Rachel and inter-disciplinary team has had significant impact on the higher education sector in the UK and abroad, being featured in the Government’s Violence Against Women Action Plan, recommended by Universities UK and HEFCE and cited by the Women and Equalities Select Committee and the United Nations.

Since joining Exeter Rachel has been awarded ESRC funding together with Exeter City Football Club to develop and evaluate a bystander intervention for football and sports – ‘Football Onside’. Rachel is also currently piloting, together with Public Health England, a bystander intervention for the prevention of DVA in the Community – ‘Active Bystander Communities’.

Rachel was recently called to give evidence to the Women and Equalities Select Committee’s Enquiry on Sexual Harassment in the Workplace and written evidence to the Enquiry into Sexual Harassment in Public Places. Rachel gave the International Women’s Day Lecture at Cambridge University in 2018.

Rachel is currently co-PI on a GW 4 – funded project on ‘Investigating GBV Intersectional (Dis)Advantages and Legal Duties – A Scoping Study of UK Universities’ and working on a project with colleagues from UCLAN and Durham evaluating how UK Universities have implemented the Universities UK agenda to tackle violence against women

Rachel regularly contributes her expertise to national level strategy and policy regarding combatting violence against women.

Select Outputs

R. A. Fenton, C. Jones, S. Moss, and K. Cooke. “The challenges of developing and implementing a bystander intervention for the prevention of DVA in UK communities.” Journal of Gender Based Violence (2019, in press).

P. Rumney, D. McPhee, R. A. Fenton, and J. Solle. “A Police Specialist Rape Investigation Unit: A Comparative Analysis of Performance and Victim Care.” Policing and Society (2019).

R. A. Fenton and H. L. Mott. “Evaluation of the Intervention Initiative, a Bystander Intervention Program to Prevent Violence Against Women in Universities.” Violence and Victims 33 (2018).

R. A. Fenton and H. L. Mott. “The Intervention Initiative: Theoretical Underpinnings, Development and Implementation.” In Sundari and Lewis (eds) Gender Based Violence in University Communities: policies, prevention and educational initiatives, Policy Press, 2018: 169-188.

R. A. Fenton and C. Jones. “An Exploratory Study on the Beliefs about Gender-based Violence held by Incoming Undergraduates in England.” Journal of Gender-Based Violence 1(2) (2017): 147-168.

R. A. Fenton and H. L. Mott. “The Bystander Approach to Violence Prevention: Considerations for Implementation in Europe.” Psychology of Violence (2017). DOI.

R. A. Fenton, H. L. Mott, K. McCartan, and P. N. S. Rumney. “A review of evidence for bystander intervention to prevent sexual and domestic violence in universities.” Public Health England, 2016.

R. A. Fenton, H. L. Mott, K. McCartan, and P. N. S. Rumney. The Intervention Initiative Toolkit and Website, 2014.

Select Media Appearances

Rachel has given many interviews about her research on The Intervention Initiative, including on BBC Radio 4 Woman’s Hour, BBC Radio 5 Live, BBC national news, BBC regional news. Rachel has appeared on The Sunday Politics Show and written articles in The Guardian and Times Higher Education.

B. Jeffreys. “The US scheme helping to drive out sexual harrasment on campus,” BBC News, 3 November 2016.

Launching The Intervention Initiative 2014 Rachel Fenton giving evidence at select committee 2018 Launch of The Intervention Initiative with Provost Prof Janice Kay 'Football Onside' team with Rachel Fenton Panel on Assisted Reproduction in Prague ESRC festival
Launching The Intervention Initiative at UWE 2014 with Dr Helen Mott, Prof Phil Rumney and Susuana Amoah (NUS)

Email Rachel | Visit Rachel’s University of Exeter Law School Profile