Louise Ashwell

All Disciplines Award, University of Michigan - Social Work

Undertaking a dissertation on the feminist politics of the UK Rape Crisis movement during my History degree led me to the founders of the first support centres for survivors of sexual violence. They inspired me to pursue a career in which I could address the UK's staggering rates of domestic abuse. Since then, I have worked in the UK and internationally as a trainer, program consultant, frontline advocate and technological abuse adviser. It has been a privilege to serve survivors of abuse and to bear witness to their trauma, while exposing me to a gap in policy around primary prevention interventions.

This grant allows me to work with specialists at the University of Michigan leading the global research agenda in the field of interpersonal violence prevention and to develop my social work practice in a country with a rich history of community activism. I am looking forward to exploring Michigan's 3,288 miles of freshwater coastline and to observing the run-up to the 2020 election. Upon returning to the UK, my goal is to develop prevention-focussed community-level programming for tackling gender-based violence, which demands systematic and urgent attention.