Kelly is a specialist in preventing and responding to sexual violence, harassment and misconduct (SVHM) in higher education.
In addition to her practice experience conducting disciplinary investigations, developing policy, and delivering prevention and response education to both students and staff, Kelly has contributed extensively to the work of Universities UK, sitting on more than one expert advisory panel. Kelly can support SUMS members in areas relating to student conduct and discipline, responses to SVHM, and safeguarding more widely.
Since April 2022, Kelly has been working with Dr Anna Bull at the University of York to develop and deliver training and education packages to address staff-to-student, as well as student-to-student SVHM. We have also devised and facilitated an institutional strategic review, using the institutional self-assessment tool that Kelly has written, drawing on cross-sector guidance from OfS, SUMS, UUK, OIA, Equally Safe, and more. The most recent project, funded by the UKRI Enhancing Research Culture Fund, aims to build on the knowledge and skills of post-graduate student, academic staff and HR professional services staff communities, on the topics of sexual harassment and professional boundaries, supporting culture change and growth. Additional funding was secured through an ESRC Impact Accelerator grant to devise an evaluation framework.
Kelly has worked in the field of gender-based violence for 20 years, as both a practitioner (including frontline refuge provision) and a researcher. Her academic background is in law and criminology, and she holds a PhD exploring voluntary sector responses to human trafficking. She has a particular interest in HEI responses to student reports of SVHM, including accountability procedures that provide alternatives to, or move beyond, traditional disciplinary frameworks. At Keele University, she was responsible for developing an alternative resolution process.
Kelly is the co-author of a chapter on case management in Stopping Gender-Based Violence in Higher Education, (DiSantis Humphreys & Towl, 2023). She has co-authored a journal article on data-sharing in sexual misconduct cases (forthcoming). In addition, she co-authored version 2 of Consent Matters in 2019 and is the sole author of version 3, published in 2023.