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Delhi prison study receives research award

Published: 30 October 2019 at 12:31

Dr Madhumita Pandey receiving the Ruskin Medal from Professor Aletta Norval

Dr Madhumita Pandey interviewed offenders to address issues behind sexual violence

A graduate who interviewed the perpetrators of offences against women in an effort to understand the causes of sexual violence has been awarded the Ruskin Medal for Student Research by Anglia Ruskin University (ARU).

Dr Madhumita Pandey’s PhD research, conducted in Delhi Prison and supervised by Criminology lecturers at ARU, was the first study in India to examine perspectives of convicted rapists in order to address the widespread sexual violence against women in the country.

During a ceremony at the Cambridge Corn Exchange last week, Dr Pandey received the medal from Deputy Vice Chancellor of ARU, Professor Aletta Norval. The medal is given annually to the ARU student whose doctoral research has been deemed to be most impactful.

Dr Pandey, who is currently working as a lecturer at Sheffield Hallam University, said:


“My research explored the underlying social mechanisms that support and maintain violence against women, and in its extreme form, rape in Indian society. While research on sexual violence in India has considered victim perspectives and policy reforms, not many studies have examined the perspective of the offenders. 

“I strongly believe that rapists are in a unique position to offer us insights on their sexually violent behaviours as well as social systems that allow them to abdicate responsibility for their actions.”


Dr Pandey’s research has been widely covered by international media, and she has recorded a Ted talk which will be airing in India in December.

Read more about Dr Pandey's research in our news pages, October 2017: Women’s rights often forgotten in Indian rape cases