Maddy’s research has, to date, two broad themes: public policy and practice responses to violence against women and girls, and conceptual links between violence against women and sexualized sexism in popular culture. Having worked in a range of specialist services for women and girls that have experienced violence, abuse and exploitation, she is committed to focusing on the expertise of survivors and the practice-based evidence of workers in support services.
Her PhD research explored young women’s routes into sexual exploitation from state care and involved life story interviews and arts-based workshops. At the Child and Woman Abuse Studies Unit, London Metropolitan University, UK, she led and/or worked on research projects that included:
- social and political discourses about child sexual abuse and their influence on institutional responses
- mapping of specialist violence against women services
- how to develop national and local integrated responses to all forms of violence against women
- child contact proceedings from the perspective of survivors of domestic violence and legal professionals
- young people’s understandings of sexual consent
- multiple evaluations of specialist support services for survivors of domestic and sexual violence and sexual exploitation.
- how practitioners navigate cultural encounters in interventions against domestic violence, trafficking and child abuse
- one of the UK’s largest studies of men who pay for sex
- multi-country studies of policy on prostitution
Maddy has served on committees for PhDs that have explored various forms of violence against women, including domestic violence, street harassment, trafficking for sexual exploitation, violence experienced by women of African and Caribbean heritage, child sexual abuse in the African Caribbean British community and men’s perspectives on sexualised popular culture. She is currently chairing a PhD at London Metropolitan University on media representations and practitioner views of sexual exploitation of children. Maddy has also acted as an external examiner for PhDs and graduate research degrees in England and Ireland.