Dr Olumide Adisa

Senior Research Fellow

Research Directorate

Olumide is a Senior Research Fellow at the Institute of Social Justice and Crime, University of Suffolk and Co-Investigator, VISION at City University, London. In 2019, she founded the Domestic Abuse Research Network for the East of England region, which is now represented by over 20 universities and 200 members. Her research and scholarly interest is cross-disciplinary (economics, sociology, social policy, and socio-legal) with a strong focus on access to justice, social justice and systems approaches. Her core specialisms are in systems thinking, complex systems approaches, applying economic and sociological methods in the fields of domestic abuse, social exclusion, health equity, and international development.  In 2023, she joined VISION where she is part of the senior leadership team (Consortium Strategic Delivery Board) and Complex Systems Theory Lead.

She is currently researching systems research methodologies to uncover new ways for understanding and tackling domestic abuse. Ongoing work include researching systems change in relation to working with perpetrators in England and Wales; and editing a book collection on systems approaches to tackling domestic abuse and sexual violence (Palgrave, forthcoming). 

She founded the Centre for Abuse Research  and is also a founding member of the Suffolk Institute for Social and Economic Research (now Institute of Social Justice and Crime). Her work has had significant positive outcomes for community engagement and community impact in the area of domestic abuse, economic abuse, and access to justice. In collaboration with HOPE Training and Consultancy, HARM Network and Sarah Wigley Associates, Olumide has been supporting an online platform for Black and minoritised communities to discuss how domestic and sexual violence/abuse are impacting survivors during Covid-19 and beyond.  So far, discussions have addressed issues such as the marginalisation of Black women/men/children's voices in public conversations about DA and the need for mainstream, accessible funding for 'by and for' services. The calls have featured an incredible line-up of speakers, including Pragna Patel, Nazir Afzal OBE, David Lammy MP, Jess Phillips MP, Nicole Jacobs and Clare Waxman OBE. Olumide has sat on the judging panel of Surviving Economic Abuse's best practice award for banks responding to economic abuse in the country. She has also undertaken consultancies with national domestic abuse charities such and Safelives and the Drive Partnership.

She completed her PhD in economic sociology at the University of Nottingham in 2016. Her doctoral thesis primarily applied statistics and econometric modelling to investigate and understand the determinants and the health consequences of economic vulnerability among ageing households in West Africa - using the NGHPS dataset collected by the World Bank and NBS in 2004 and 2010. She is extending the use of these household datasets to explore other health equity and vulnerability issues. Olumide is an ONS Accredited Researcher under the Digital Economy Act.

She has completed several high impact, high profile complex research projects as a principal investigator and project lead, securing significant funding awards to undertake research and evaluations on domestic abuse and related areas. For a list of her influential work, please see the 'Research and Knowledge Exchange' tab.

Olumide is very interested in understanding the systemic barriers that Black and other minoritised communities face and how we might best respond to domestic violence and abuse, particularly for those on the margins. In 2020, she was featured alongside 100 influential domestic abuse researchers, professionals and activists, in a national Digi-Art project to celebrate Black, Asian, and other minoritised women working in the field of domestic abuse. In 2022, she was a nominee for the Lord Hastings Integrity Award of The Year.

Prior to joining the University of Suffolk in March 2017, Olumide headed the Development Unit at the Women's Equality Party, and worked as the Research Lead examining live at home schemes in the UK and the role of third sector partnership working at the Methodist Homes in helping older people live independently in their homes and has held various senior management positions in the voluntary sector in the UK and overseas over the last 10 years. 

She is a Trustee of Legal Action Group. In 2017, she successfully undertook the only academic evaluation of the impact of court closures in the country and its implications for access to justice, and through this research, she has raised the profile of the access to justice impacts with government ministers, the media, and key stakeholders in the legal profession. 

Some completed and ongoing advisory assignments:

  • Policy and Advisory Group Member, Women's Budget Group - ongoing
  • Call to Action Black, Asian and minoritised working group/National Action on Perpetrators, Drive - ongoing
  • Safelives Associate (Data consultant) - MARACs - ongoing
  • Expert Advisor, Islington Law Centre - completed
  • Panel Member, COVID-19 Research Programme, The Health Foundation - completed
  • Black and Minority Ethnic Suffolk Support Group (BSSG) - completed
  • Access to Justice Working Group, West Suffolk Council/Suffolk PCC - completed
  • APP Working Group (Access and participation)  - University of Suffolk - completed
  • Gender and racial inequality research project (Connecting Communities), Waltham Forest Council -  completed
  • Rural women's participation in solar energy access (Dialogical Feminism) - for CAPS Energy on behalf of the Government of Niger - completed

Teaching and mentoring: 

I am an Associate Fellow of the Higher Education Academy with over ten years teaching and research mentoring experience on applied social research methodologies, research design and practice. I have delivered small groups teaching to undergraduate students at the University of Nottingham on Research Design and Practice, Quantitative including preparing lesson plans and one to one advice on particular pieces of work, helping students to make sense of their learning within the context of the module, and marking assessed work and provided feedback on coursework.
At the University of Suffolk, I have contributed to data modelling workshops and taught on the secondary quantitative data analysis module as well as developing academic writing skills course content.
To support the Suffolk Researcher Development programme, I convened the “Shut Up and Write” workshops for PhD students and postgraduate, and academic staff to create a culture of academic writing by making it social, fun, and accessible. Additonally, I have co-convened the 'Interviewing Vulnerable Groups' workshop.

In the last few years, I have mentored seven early career researchers.

PhD Supervision

The Role of Creative Arts and Mandatory Valerie’s Law Training in Improving Reporting of Domestic or Sexual Abuse Experienced by UK Based Black African and Caribbean Heritage Women. Ngozi Fulani. Nov 2022 – present.

I am keen to supervise PhD research either:

  • on areas that overlap with my own social justice research interests, particularly examining domestic abuse at the margins
  • for students interested in access to justice issues that relate to vulnerable groups
  • Systems change and systems thinking (including systemic interventions)
  • Complex systems approaches
  • Economic evaluations and analysis

Media contributions and coverage

I am available to respond to media queries around my research interests.

In the media:

Research in Practice. The evidence base around domestic violence and abuse. Podcast was produced by Research in Practice recently as part of a collaborative project with the DRIVE Partnership that aims to inform our response to perpetrators of domestic abuse within families where children’s social care are involved. The resources, which are also available at the DRIVE Partnership, are aimed at multi-sector leaders and practitioners.


BBC Radio 4's Positive Thinking episode on 'How to Stop Men Hurting Women'. The episode will be available from Wednesday 3 March on the programme website





 A look at how the court closure programme is impacting court users, The Law Society, 30 October 2018









Tackling Domestic Abuse and Sexual Violence (DASV): A Systems thinking Approach (Adisa and Bond, forthcoming). Palgrave.

Black Women as Agents of Communicative Action and Justice. Proposal submitted to Routledge.

Chapters in books

Adisa O., James S.., and Newman D, (2023). Rural Access to Justice and Beyond: Dimensions of Access as a Criterion for Understanding Lay Users' Satisfaction with Remote Justice. In Access to Justice in Rural Communities. Global Perspectives

Adisa O. (2019). ‘Yemshaw V London Borough of Hounslow [2011] UKSC3’, in Justice Alliance, Legal Aid Matters. Legal Action Group: London, pp. 29.

Peer reviewed Journal articles:

Allen, K., Adisa, O., & Hermolle, M. (2023). Redefining safety: a narrative review of literature on the underground and open or ‘Dutch’ models of refuge. Journal of Gender-Based Violence, 1-16.

Adisa, O., & McManus, S. (2023). Community mental health through a complex systems lens. The Lancet Public Health.

Bland, M., Weir, R., Adisa, O., Allen, K., Ferreira, J., & Maitra, D. R. (2022). Describing patterns of known domestic abuse among different ethnic groups. Frontiers in psychology, 13.

Adisa, O. (2020) Rural women’s participation in solar-powered irrigation in Niger: lessons from Dimitra Clubs, Gender & Development, 28:3, 535-549, DOI: 10.1080/13552074.2020.1833483

Adisa O. (2019)Why are some older persons economically vulnerable and others not? The role of socio-demographic factors and economic resources,  Ageing International. Springer.

Adisa O. (2018). Third sector partnerships for older people: insights from live at home schemes in the UK, Working with Older People.

Adisa, O. (2015). Investigating determinants of catastrophic health spending among poorly insured elderly households in urban Nigeria. International journal for equity in health, 14(1), 79

Research reports and other publications:

Adisa, O (2023, May). Sharing a theory-based systems change framework. Substack.

Adisa, O., (forthcoming). Scoping review analysis on systems change. University of Suffolk.

Adisa, O., and Redgwell L. (2023). Examining language, framing and 'perpetrator' identity: Content analysis and literature review analysis briefing. University of Suffolk.

Adisa, Olumide, Hermolle, Megan and Ellis, Fiona (2023) Denial, disbelief & delays: examining the costs on the NHS of delayed Child Sexual Abuse disclosures in England and Wales. Project Report. Survivors in Transition, Suffolk, UK. 

Ferreira J., Allen K., Hermolle M., Manning M., Adisa O. (2022). From ‘what works’ to ‘how it works’: exploring men’s experiences of change and engagement with the Venta programme. Institute for Social Justice and Crime. University of Suffolk.

 Adisa, O., Maitra, D., Allen, K., Tyrrell, K., & Barbin, A. (2022). HOPE Cross-Cultural Training Evaluation. University of Suffolk.

Adisa, O., & Allen, K. (2021). Migrant Victims of Domestic Abuse: A critical appraisal of evidence from the Home Office Review. Office of the Domestic Abuse Commissioner.

Adisa, O., Bland, M., Weir, R., Allen, K. & Ferreira, J. (2021). Identifying predictors of harm within Black, Asian, and other racially minoritised communities. Suffolk, UK: University of Suffolk.

Adisa, O., Ferreira, J., Willis R., (2021). Responding to Harmful Practices against Women and Girls in London: the potential of a data-driven and intersectional approach. University of Suffolk and Standing Together Against Domestic Abuse. 

Khan Y., Khan R., Adisa O., Kumari M., & Allen K. (2021). ‘Honour’ abuse, violence, and forced marriage in the UK. Police cases (incidents and charges) and specialised training: 2018 and 2019. HARM Network report commissioned for HALO Project.

Adisa, O. & Khan, R. (2021). The Story of H.O.P.E. How a group of Black and Brown women reshaped domestic abuse support networks in lockdown. Domestic Abuse Research Network (DARNet), University of Suffolk & Honour Abuse Research Matrix (HARM), University of Central Lancashire.

Adisa O., and Costello, F (2021). Equality impact assessments and equality-responsiveness of budgets in English local authorities. Women's Budget Group.

Adisa, O., and Allen, K, Kumari, M, Weir, R and Bond, E (2020). Mapping the VAWG funding ecosystem in England and Wales. Project Report. Centre for Abuse Research. SISER.

Adisa O., and Allen K. (2020). Increasing safety for those experiencing family and intimate relationship harm within black and minority ethnic communities by responding to those who harm: Survey findings. University of Suffolk.

Adisa, O (2020). Fluidity, choice of options, and a space to make decisions: An evaluation of refuge and satellite accommodation provision in Suffolk. University of Suffolk.

Adisa, O. (2020). Professionals perceptions of Maracs and barriers to attendance: Findings from the 'Are Maracs still fit  for purpose' Survey. University of Suffolk

Adisa, O (2020) .  An evaluation of Project Safety Net +: Supporting migrant victims/survivors of domestic abuse who (are believed to) have no recourse to public funds. University of Suffolk.

Adisa, O. (2020). A summative evaluation of the Domestic and Economic Abuse Project. University of Suffolk.  

Allen K., Adisa O., & Tyrrell K., (2020). Evaluation of Suffolk's Domestic Abuse Champions Project. University of Suffolk. 

Adisa O. & Allen K., (2020). Supporting more effective health service responses to adult survivors of childhood sexual abuse: a realist synthesis of self-assessment tools in improving disclosures and help seeking. University of Suffolk. 

Adisa O., Allen K., Costello F., Meehan A. (2020). A scoping review of refuge provision models. University of Suffolk

Khan, R., Kumari, M., and Adisa, O. (2020). Home Secretary - Open Letter: Hidden Harm Summit for Domestic Abuse 21 May 2020 COVID-19 Impact. Discussion Paper. UCLan, UK.

Adisa O. (2020). Examining the social value of the Venta project. Phase 2 evaluation. Ipswich. University of Suffolk. 

Adisa O. (2019). The effectiveness of interventions supporting migrant victims/survivors of domestic abuse: An evidence brief. University of Suffolk

Adisa O. and Costello F. (2019). Supporting victims of DA in safe accommodation. Evidence submission to Suffolk County Council.

Piddington I. and Adisa O. (2019).  Social Mobility Project (SMP) Update Paper. University of Suffolk.

Adisa O. (2019). The evaluation of Venta: a project aimed at the men who abuse women in Suffolk. Ipswich: University of Suffolk.

Adisa, O and Costello F. (2019, May 21):  Breaking the silence, seeking support, and PSN+: experiences of migrant women fleeing abuse

Adisa, O. (2018, Nov 29): Financial capability and domestic abuse: exploring the evidence base

Bridging the evidence gap: financial capability and domestic abuse, March 14th, 2018, FinCap, UK Financial Strategy.

Adisa O. (2018). An evaluation of an alternative money advice service for survivors of domestic abuse. Ipswich: University of Suffolk.

Adisa O (2018). Process evaluation of the Social Mobility Pilot Project (SMPP). University of Suffolk.

Adisa, O. (2018). Access to Justice: Assessing the Impact of  the Magistrates' Court Closures in Suffolk. Ipswich: University of Suffolk. 

Building Better Societies (2017). Edited by Rowland Atkinson, Lisa McKenzie, and Simon Winlow. Policy Press. London School of Economics and Political Science Review of Books.

Adisa, O. (2016). The determinants and consequences of economic vulnerability among urban elderly Nigerians. PhD thesis, University of Nottingham.

Adisa, O (2016). Mapping third sector partnerships in live at home schemes to foster learning and growth. Policy and Research Unit; Derby, Methodist Homes.

Adisa, O. (2016). A two-year review of the HomeWard Project: A partnership between MHA’s Horsforth Live at Home Scheme & the British Red Cross: Leeds. Methodist Homes.

Conferences and speaking engagements:

Sensemaking and Systems Thinking. Finland, May 2023.

Drive Evaluation Webinar (Summary findings), Institute of Social Justice, and Crime. Apr 2023.

Gender-Based Violence in Public and Private Spheres: Dismantling Barriers and Creating Safety. March 2023

Denial, Disbelief & Delays: Examining the costs of delayed CSA disclosures. Survivors in Transition. Jan 2023.

Local Government EIA’s webinar, Women's Budget Group, May 2021

DARNet/CARe Domestic Abuse Conference Series (Mar 2021 - May 2021)

Safer and Stronger Communities Board Suffolk, 10 Dec 2020

Economic abuse and Banking Webinar, Surviving Economic Abuse, 10 Dec 2020

Suffolk Violence and Abuse Partnership Forum, 9 Dec 2020

Roundtable on Funding and Violence Against Women and Girls, 1 Oct 2020

National action on perpetrators, Drive partnership, 19 Aug 2020

Research and Public Engagement Conference, 13 Mar, 2020, Suffolk

Economic Abuse and Coercive Behaviour (EACC) Talk, University of Law London, Nov 2019

Public Engagement Masterclass, Connecting Science, Wellcome Genome Campus, 8-10th July, 2019 Cambridge

Speaker, Improving Outcomes, Conference on Coercive Control, Bury St Edmunds, Suffolk, July 2nd, 2019

Organiser and Speaker, Launch of Domestic Abuse Research Network (DA at the Margins), 26th June, 2019, Ipswich

Speaker, What Works, Domestic Abuse at the Margins, NRPF Network Meeting, East of England LGA, 23rd April 2019

Invited Speaker/ Joint presentation with CAS at the Voice Event, Brightspace, Ipswich - Dec 2018

Invited Chair and Speaker, Banking for Change Conference, London- Dec 2018

Organiser and Speaker Approaches to Reducing Domestic Abuse, Ipswich - Nov 2018

Speaker, MARAC CPD Day, Suffolk, 23 Nov 2018; Presentation title: MARACS What Works? What does success look like?

Speaker and co-organiser, Approaches to Reducing Domestic Abuse, Suffolk, 3 Nov 2018

Panel organiser, Political Economy of Development, Domesticating the SDGs, ASA UK, 2018, Birmingham, September 11-13 2018.

Speaker, Making an Impact: Valuing the Social and Economic worth of the Voluntary and Community Sector, Liverpool, June 2018

Speaker, Centre for Violence Prevention 2018 Annual Conference, Violence Prevention at the Intersections of Identity and Experience, Worcester, June 2018

Speaker and Organiser; “Money Matters: Changing the lives of survivors of domestic abuse in Suffolk”, March 2018

Speaker, The Determinants and consequences of economic vulnerability amongst elderly people in Nigeria: Evidence from a national household survey. University of Bielefeld, Germany (August 1- 8, 2017).

Suffolk Domestic Abuse Partnership (SDAP) Presentation; “Data Sharing Agreements and developing a shared database on domestic abuse”; December 2017.

Trainer, Interviewing vulnerable groups - depth interviewing skills workshop, University of Suffolk, December 2017

Discussant, Access to Justice for Vulnerable People - International Conference; The Advocate's Gateway. Inns of Court College of Advocacy. London. June 2017.

I am a founding member of the relatively successful Suffolk Institute for Social and Economic Research (2018 - 2019), which generated six figure sums in research funding, since its inception in 2018. I also founded the successful Centre for Abuse Research at the University of Suffolk in 2019 (now institutionally 're-embodied' as TIVA in the Institute of Social Justice and Crime).

In 2019, I also set up the highly commended Domestic Abuse Research Network for the East of England region which has generated seed grants and funding from a number of organisations. The network continues to host conferences and workshops to foster knowledge exchange and develop new research areas.

Complex Systems Society 

Aurora, Advance HE

British Sociological Association

UK Evaluation Society