UNIC UNITE: Ending Violence Against Women - Co-Designing Implementation

Building a sustained trans-national collaboration - academic and civil society partners co-design practical initiatives and mechanisms for sustained collaboration, co-creation and action for impact.


Cork City, Sexual Violence Centre Cork and Online Meetings


Start: 05.12.2022
End: 30.06.2023


Sexual Violence Centre Cork

OVERVIEW Led by Cork partners, this CityLab is focussed on the development of a sustained trans-national partnership between academic and civil society organisations. A summary of the key activities to date are:

  • April 2022 - Walking as Critical Pedagogy - Feminist Tour Cork
  • December 2022 - International Roundtable Discussion Group aligned to the UN UNiTE campaign - which calls for global actions to increase awareness, galvanize advocacy efforts, and share knowledge and innovations: see details here and here
  • January / February / March - joint working meetings between academics at University College Cork and University of Deusto and local meetings with relevant Research Offices on the development and submission of application to UNIC4ER Seed Fund and other funding opportunities
  • UNIC4ER Engaged Research Proposal Submitted
  • 20 and 28 February - Local in person co-design meetings with and at Sexual Violence Centre Cork


Over forty-five people have been engaged in the CityLabs activities on this challenge area to date, with a core small cohort of people representing the civil society partner, academic partners and CityLab Coordinators driving the longer term ambition and opportunity.

During the December roundtable discussions international partners exchanged insights, knowledge and expertise on root issues, gaps and challenges; collaborative working; successful projects, models and campaigns; and possible areas of focus for a UNIC collaboration. Some highlights include:

  • The importance of initiatives that are visible in and have impact in wider society and behavious change. Sexual Violence Centre Cork highlighted their Ask Consent campaign and Safe Gigs Ireland as well as the @FixeditI - Irish Twitter account and campaign
  • The opportunity for engaged research and research informed curriculum design supporting continuing professional development for those whose work bring them into contact with survivors of sexual violence particularly highlighting existing programmes in Cork and Desuto
  • The transformative role of creative and theatre method. Cork Academic Partner Prof. Maggie O'Neill, Director UCC Futures: Collective Social Futures and ISS21, shared examples of Participatory Action Research methodologies and initiatives including:
  • Open Clasp Rattlesnake- Based on research identifying gaps in police understanding of coercive control by Professor Nicole Westmarland and Kate Butterworth (Durham University) and the impact of arts based research interventions by Professor Maggie O’Neill (University College Cork), Rattle Snake was created by Open Clasp and funded by Durham PCC and the Arts and Humanities Research Council (AHRC) to train frontline officers in better responding to sexual and domestic violence – coinciding with the change of law making coercive control in relationships a crime in 2015.
  • An example of inter-disciplinary research in Cork that visually captures and contributes to working in participatory/collaborative ways, in this case, with Cork migrant centre and young people in direct provision - Participatory arts for advocacy, activism and transformational justice with young people living in Direct Provision


Local meetings with Cork partners in February 2023 identified the opportunity of a specific EU funding call that could support a sustained UNIC partnership initiative and implement actions in response to the issues identified through disucssions to date.

Meetings learned from Sexual Violence Centre Cork about on-the-ground needs, gaps and and issues for civil society organisations in an Irish context as well as networks, policy, activism and action in an EU context.

Engagement with international partners continued online.


Local partners are supportive of a sustained collaboration and will, over 2023, look to progress the ambition for application to the specific EU fund identified (expected call in early 2024). International partners are committed to the challenge area with specific staff, resources and implementation mechanisms to be determined as work progresses and with the brokering support of CityLab Coordinators.

Work is ongoing and the challenge-team welcome interest from other collaborators across UNIC. Please connect via your local CityLabs Coordinator.

Image: Making visibile violence against women - public and relational art project 'Zapatos Rojos'. Image by Denisse Tramolao source: Wikimedia Creative Commons


UNIC CityLabs


Gender Violence

Type of Case

partnership development

Organizing unic universities

university logo university logo university logo

Cookie Settings