Professor Monica McWilliams appeared on BBC Radio 4’s Desert Island Discs this week, speaking about her extraordinary life and work as a politician, social scientist, and peace campaigner in Northern Ireland – including her research as part of the PSRP.
Prof McWilliams co-founded the Women’s Coalition and served as an MLA in the Northern Ireland Assembly from 1998-2003, and was a key player in the Good Friday Agreement of 1998. In 2005 she was appointed Chief Commissioner of the Northern Ireland Human Rights Commission, where she served for six years. She is currently an emeritus professor at the University of Ulster’s Transitional Justice Institute, which studies how societies deal with the transition from conflict or oppression, human rights, international law, peace and conflict. The Transitional Justice Institute was a consortium partner in phase one of the Political Settlements Research Programme.
On the podcast, Prof McWilliams speaks about her research into the connections between paramilitary violence and abuse in intimate relationships, and refers to the 2018 PSRP research report, Intimate Partner Violence in Conflict and Post-Conflict Societies: Insights and Lessons from Northern Ireland, which she wrote with Jessica Doyle of the Transitional Justice Institute. The study examines how experiences of and responses to domestic violence were impacted by the Northern Ireland conflict and the changes that have taken place since the Good Friday Agreement.
The study was funded by the Department of International Development (UK) as part of the Political Settlements Research Programme, based at the University of Edinburgh and led by the Global Justice Academy. It is the first study of its kind comparing findings on domestic violence during conflict to what happens afterwards.
The full report is available to download free of charge from the PSRP publications database.