Elizabeth Ackerley

Research Assistant

I joined the International Centre in April 2015. Prior to coming to the International Centre I worked for the MsUnderstood Partnership led by Dr Carlene Firmin, which, through engagement of young people and professionals, is designed to improve local and national responses to young people’s experiences of inequality and build a contextual understanding of peer on peer abuse.

I have previously undertaken a number of voluntary roles working with children and young people on issues including healthy sexual relationships, human rights abuses and gender-based violence. I also have experience of teaching in France, Italy and the UK with children and adults in a variety of settings. I draw on these experiences to think creatively about ways of engaging young people in research and how research can be used to challenge societal inequalities and improve outcomes for children and young people affected by sexual violence.

My research interests also include exploring sexual violence prevention efforts with children and adults, enabling active and meaningful participation of children and young people in research, and ensuring that children and young people from all backgrounds have their voices heard in policy and practice.

Current and recently completed projects

  • NSPCC Mapping: audit of the availability of therapeutic services for children and young people affected by sexual abuse and exploitation
  • Evaluation of AVA project: empowering young people to challenge domestic and sexual violence
  • HMIC - Young Voices Project: research with children and young people who come into contact with the police, because of concerns about their safety or wellbeing
  • PACE Evaluation: evaluation of the 'Parents as partners in safeguarding children and young people in Lancashire' programme run by PACE
  • Making Noise project: children’s voices for positive change after sexual abuse.  This project forms part of the Office of the Children’s Commissioner’s wider inquiry into child sexual abuse in the family environment


  • BA (Hons) French and Italian - University of Exeter
  • 'Understanding and Responding to Child Sexual Exploitation' Masters module - University of Bedfordshire

Teaching Role

  • Supervision of undergraduate students
  • Assistance with the ‘Understanding and Responding to Child Sexual Exploitation’ Masters module offered by the International Centre

Recent publications

  • Beckett, H. Warrington, C. Ackerley, E and Allnock. D (2016) Children's Voices Research Report: Children and young people’s perspectives on the police’s role in safeguarding: a report for Her Majesty’s Inspectorate of Constabularies - PDF 1.3 MB
  • Allnock, D. Sneddon, H with Ackerley, E (2015) Mapping therapeutic services for sexual abuse in the UK in 2015. - PDF 1.8 MB Prepared for the NSPCC
  • Ackerley, E. and Patel, J. (2015), An evaluation of Race on the Agenda’s ‘What about the Boy?’ awareness raising pilot project [PDF]. Race on the Agenda

Contact Details

Room C425
University Square

T: 07548 893512
E: elizabeth.ackerley@beds.ac.uk
Twitter: @e_ackerley


The International Centre: Researching child sexual exploitation, violence and trafficking
University of Bedfordshire
University Square
Luton, Bedfordshire

Our Tweets: @uniofbedsCSE