Dr Susie Balderston

Dr Susie Balderston

School of Social Policy
Research Fellow

Contact details

School of Social Policy
Muirhead Tower
University of Birmingham
B15 2TT

Susie is a Research Fellow in criminology and social policy, exploring the inequalities and outcomes of women receiving different criminal justice system interventions, in the voluntary sector. 

She works with criminal justice involved women, sex working women and victim-survivors of violence against women, disablist hate crime and institutional violence. 

Disciplines: Criminology (violence against women, jurisprudence, disabled victims and offenders, rape), social policy (poverty, inequality, gender and welfare regimes), sociology and disability studies. An advocate for social justice, preventing violence and tackling inequalities. 


Before embarking on a research career, Susie worked for over a fifteen years developing, mentoring and evaluating third sector services in social care, health, criminal justice disability and the women’s sectors, from unfunded grassroots campaigns to Government Departments. 

Susie has served as an advisor to the Equality and Human Rights Commission Statutory Inquiry into Disability Harassment, EU Daphne four country research project with disabled women after violence and NIHR Barriers and Discrimination in Healthcare research.

In 2016, Susie was honoured to keynote at the Biennial Disability Studies Conference with a paper entitled, ‘Are Disabled People Human?’.  In 2017, she was an academic discussant regarding human rights (anti-trafficking, Northern Ireland and hate crime) at Portcullis House, to inform Parliamentary policy for Brexit.  Susie authored a Shadow Report about inequalities and disabled women for the UN Inquiry into Systematic Human Rights Violations in the UK. 

Rape and assisted suicide make Susie very angry, but ice cream and puppies make her very happy.   


Susie lectured for seven years in social justice, the prevention of violence, safeguarding law, human rights, rape, gendered and domestic violence, genocide and hate crime, assisted suicide and institutional abuse, for the Criminology and Social Work programmes at Lancaster and Salford Universities before joining the University of Birmingham.  

Postgraduate supervision

Susie welcomes applications for Ph.D. students in:

  • Welfare and gender regimes and institutions.
  • Safeguarding and violence prevention.
  • Rape and violence against women, trafficking for sexual exploitation, institutional violence and hate crime.
  • Victims and offenders.
And the fields of social justice, social policy (particularly welfare and gender regimes), criminology, disability studies and women in the criminal justice system.


Research interests include participative methods, tackling violence against women, violence against disabled people, gendered inequalities in criminal justice and social care services, rape, hate crime, assisted suicide and interventions with victim-survivors.

 Current projects include:

  • Evaluating accommodation and support services for criminal justice involved women.
  • Evaluating outreach and substance use services for sex working women.
  • Evaluating routine enquiry into gendered violence and abuse in the voluntary sector.
  • Developing commissioning and safeguarding in services with disabled women after violence and abuse. 

Other activities

Susie is a part-time Research Fellow in the UNESCO Centre for Violence and Society at Lancaster University, working with Sylvia Walby to evaluate interventions after gendered violence. She has co-authored two reports for the European Commission about services with women who have been trafficked for sexual exploitation.

Susie is Policy Director of a not-for-profit social enterprise of disabled people in Tyne and Wear (which she co-founded in 2003). She mentored emerging user-led organisations and Commissioners for personalisation and independent living transformation of social care with the Department of Health and ADASS, delivered evaluations for Northumbria Police, Skills for Care, 32 local authorities and NHS Trusts to safely step down offenders from forensic settings.  Care and Treatment Review Team inspector for forensic offenders (high and medium secure) in Stoke and Yorkshire.


Walby, S., Apitzsch, B., Armstrong, J., Balderston, S., Follis, K., Francis, B., Kelly, L., May-Chahal, C., Rashid, A., Shire, K., Towers, J., Tunte, M. (2017) The Concept and Measurement of Violence against Women and Men. Bristol: Policy Press.

Walby, S.,Towers, J., Francis, B., Shire, K., Kelly, L., Apitzsch, B., Armstrong, J., Balderston, S., Fish, A., Hardaker, C., Kirby, S.,May-Chahal, C., Palmer, E. (2016) Study on comprehensive policy review of anti-trafficking projects funded by the European Commission: HOME/2014/ISFP/PR/THBX/0052. Luxembourg: Publications Office of the European Union.

Balderston, S. (2016) Victim Assistance (pp.36-55) in Walby, S., Apitzsch, B., Armstrong, J., Balderston, S., Follis, K., Francis, B., Kelly, L., May-Chahal, C., Rashid, A., Shire, K., Towers, J., Tunte, M. (2016) Study on gender dimension of trafficking in human beings. Luxembourg: Publications Office of the European Union.

Shah,S., Balderston,S., Woodin, S. (2015) Information for policy makers and service providers - ‘Access to support services and protection for disabled women who have experienced violence’. Results and Recommendations Ludwig Boltzmann Institute of Human Rights: Vienna. (EU DAPHNE Project). Available at: http://women-disabilities-violence.humanrights.at/countries/united-kingdom [Easy Read, BSL, audio and print)

Balderston, S. (2015) ‘Safer Restraint’? An Evaluation of Training for PAs and Disabled People. Skills for Care: Leeds.

Balderston, S. (2013) ‘Victimised again? Intersectionality and Injustice in disabled women’s lives after hate crime and rape.’  In Texler Segal, M., Demos, V. (Eds) Advances in Gender Research Vol. 18a pp. 17 – 51.  Emerald: Cambridge MA.

Balderston, S. (2012) ‘After Disablist Hate Crime: Which Interventions Really Work to Resist Victimhood and Build Resilience with Survivors?’ In Roulstone, A., Mason-Bish, H. (eds) Disability, Hate Crime and Violence. London: Routledge.

Roulstone, A., Thomas, P., Balderston, S. (2010) ‘Between hate and vulnerability: Unpacking the British Criminal Justice System construction of disablist hate crime’.  Disability and Society 26 (3) pp.351-364. 

View all publications in research portal