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ACE2357 Violence Against Women: From Harm to Hope (Evening, UCC on-campus delivery only) is a Course

ACE2357 Violence Against Women: From Harm to Hope (Evening, UCC on-campus delivery only)

Starts Jan 30, 2023

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Full course description

Course Overview

Violence against women remains an urgent global health problem. Drawing on findings from a recent study conducted at University College Cork and beyond (see, this course introduces you to the issues, debates and controversies surrounding the subject. More importantly, providing hope for a future of non-violence against women, we explore clear actions that can be enacted to get to grips with this seemingly intractable problem. The course is suitable for those interested in learning more about violence against women and those who work in the social services and educational sector will find aspects of the course particularly useful for their own work.


CONTENT WARNING: Some students are likely to have had lived experience in this area.

Students are advised that some of the course material contains excerpts of interview

material from victims, perpetrators and those who were asked questions designed to elicit

their attitudes and beliefs around various aspects of violence against women. This material

may trigger upset, including feelings of anger and disgust. In all cases, however, the material

is non-gratuitous and has been carefully selected to maximise the learning potential.


Course Schedule

This course will take place for 8-Weeks, from 30 January to 27 March 2023.

Location- Western Gateway Building,  room G13, UCC.

Closing date for applications  Monday 23 January 2023


Week 1: Violence against women: what’s the problem?

The class introduces the problem and extent of violence against women in Ireland and across the globe. It draws particular attention to debates about ‘gender symmetry’, namely, the extent to which intimate partner violence is equally perpetrated by men and women.

Week 2: Beliefs and attitudes towards violence against women

In this class we explore how beliefs and attitudes relating to violence against women influences both likelihood of perpetration and victims’ willingness to report their experiences. As well as exploring these themes, we also examine the complex contextual and situational variations in attitudes among young people The class provides useful ideas for reducing negative attitudes towards violence against women.

Week 3: Perpetrators explanations of their violence against intimate partners: excuses and justifications

We explore how perpetrators explain and account for their violence against an intimate partner. Specifically, we explore the difference between ‘excuses’ and ‘justifications’.

Week 4: Masculinity and intimate partner violence

Intimate partner violence against women is strongly related to the issue and question about ‘what it means to be a man’. We explore this connection in detail, examining how perpetrators use of violence against an intimate partner is driven by the need to main a sense of manhood and masculinity.

Week 5: Control, jealousy, obsession

Sexual jealously is strongly related to controlling behaviours, stalking and intimate partner homicide. This class explores the relationship between jealously and control, highlighting the complex interplay between violence against women and emotional states of perpetrators.

Week 6: Sexual violence against young women in nightlife settings

Recent reports have highlighted the problem of sexual violence against young women in Ireland. In this class we explore how expectations around ‘what it means to be a man’ contributes to sexual violence against women in nightlife settings such as bars, clubs, streets and house parties.

Week 7: Sexual violence against women - part 2

In this class, we learn about how sexual coercion, assault and rape is linked to the pressure on boys and young men to prove their manhood by proving their heterosexual attraction to women and/or to feel a sense of personal power over others.

Week 8: From harm to hope: bystander intervention and ending violence against women .

Actions to combat violence against women have been 50 years in the making. In this class we explore how bystander intervention programmes have become a key part of preventing and addressing violence against women. Ending on a positive note, we finish the course with clear and concrete actions that can be enacted to get to grips with this seemingly intractable problem.


Course Lecturer

Robert Bolton is a post-doctoral researcher on at the Institute for Social Science in the 21st Century (ISS21) at University College Cork (UCC). Robert has been working on the PositivMasc project at ISS21 for three years, which explores violence against women amongst young people aged 18-24 and young men’s role in combatting violence against women. Robert has recently published in the area of violence against women and his research interests lie in the intersection of gender, shame and violence. Robert’s research can be accessed freely here:


Entry Requirements

Applicants must be at least 18 years old at course commencement.


Short courses are not assessed. Students will receive a UCC Certificate of Attendance upon completion.


Contact Details for Further Information