Dr Emma Sleath

Associate Professor in Criminology

Deputy Head of School

Contact details

Personal details

I completed my PhD at the University of Leicester examining the predictors of rape victim blaming including: rape myth acceptance, belief in a just world, and gender role beliefs. This PhD also compared the attitudes of specially trained Police officers (STOs) with non-specially trained Police officers to examine the influence of specialist sexual offence training in addressing these negative perceptions of rape victims. After working at Coventry University since 2011, I have recently joined the School of Criminology in 2020.

The majority of my work involves working with police forces in relation to sexual offences and intimate partner violence, developing collaborative relationships across the United Kingdom. I am currently carrying out the first research examining police officers’ perspectives and responses to revenge pornography and non-consensual sharing of private sexual media. The outcomes of this project will develop evidence-based practice in improving police force responses to this offence. I also continue to develop research that focusses on victim retraction and disengagement in cases of sexual and intimate partner violence.


  • Victimology (Postgraduate)
  • Forensic & Legal Psychology (Postgraduate)

Administrative Responsibilities

  • Deputy Head of School


  • Criminal justice response to victims of intimate partner violence and rape focusing on victim engagement and police response.
  • Health responses and recovery journeys for victim-survivors of sexual violence.
  • Perception of victims of crime (focusing on rape and stalking) and their impact, including blame attributions, credibility assessments, and myth acceptance.

Multidisciplinary Evaluation of Sexual Assault Referral Centres for better Health (MESARCH)

I am currently leading a workstream on a £1.2 million pound funded project by the National Institute for Health Research. This is the Multidisciplinary Evaluation of Sexual Assault Referral Centres for better Health (MESARCH) project, which aims to evaluate the provision of sexual assault referral centres in England. Learn more about SARCs from our first infographic from this workstream.

JiCSAV: Justice in Covid-19 for Sexual Abuse and Violence

Impacts of the Covid-19 pandemic on criminal justice journeys of adult and child survivors of sexual abuse, rape and sexual assault.

I am currently leading the police element to this £200k funded project by the Economic and Research Council (as part of the UKRI Rapid Response to Covid-19). The project will draw on survivors’ and other criminal justice system stakeholders’ perspectives and experiences of (changes to) policies and practices in relation to sexual offences cases during the Covid-19 pandemic. From this knowledge, we will aim to make recommendations for criminal justice policy and practice in England and Wales in relation to sexual offences, in particular, any innovations that may be of value post-pandemic.


I am happy to accept applications to supervise PhDs on the following topics:

  • Sexual violence – victimisation.
  • Intimate partner violence – victimisation.
  • Police responses to victims of serious crime.
  • Image based sexual abuse (aka revenge pornography).


Hadfield, E., Sleath, E., Brown, S., & Holdsworth, E. (in press). A systematic review into the effectiveness of Integrated Offender Management (IOM). Criminology & Criminal Justice, doi: 10.1177/1748895820912295

Walker, K., Sleath, E., Hatcher, R.M., Hine, B., & Crookes, R.L. (published online). Non-consensual sharing of private sexually explicit media amongst university students. Journal of Interpersonal Violence, doi: 10.1177/0886260519853414

Walker, K., Sleath, E., & Tramontano, C. (2021). The prevalence and typologies of controlling behaviours in a general population sample. Journal of Interpersonal Violence, 36, 474-503. doi: 10.1177/0886260517731785

Sleath, E. (2019). Investigating and prosecuting rape: Victims’ and criminal justice professionals’ perspectives. In R. Bull and I. Blandon-Gitlin (Eds.), The Routledge International Handbook of Legal and Investigative Psychology. Routledge.

Sleath, E., & Brown, S. (2019). Staff and offender perspectives of Integrated Offender Management and the impact of its introduction on arrests and risk of reoffending in one police force region. Policing and Society, 29, 511-529. doi: 10.1080/10439463.2017.1410148

Walker, K., Bowen, E., Brown, S., & Sleath, E. (2018). The process of primary desistance from intimate partner violence. Violence Against Women, 24, 843-875. doi: 10.1177/1077801217722238

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The School of Criminology
152-154 Upper New Walk

T: +44 (0)116 252 2458
E: criminology@le.ac.uk


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