Dr Emma Temple-Malt

Senior Lecturer

School of Justice, Security and Sustainability

I’ve been at Staffordshire University since August 2015

  • Member of the departmental ethics committee
  • Erasmus coordinator for the Sociology & Criminology programmes
  • Love teaching research methods!

Since 2016, I have been undertaking collaborative research with colleagues from Staffordshire University that aims to better understand how to break the cycle of domestic abuse


Research Projects

REVAMP: Recognition And Education In Violence, Abuse And Neglect For Medical And Healthcare Practitioners: ERASMUS+

Principle Investigator: June Keeling

The REVAMP project is being undertaken by academics and health-care practitioners from 8 EU countries. The project is designed to support health care practitioners to recognise, respond and signpost victims and survivors of domestic abuse, at the point when victims enter the health care system.

The project is developing a package of online training materials for healthcare professionals. Following this training, it will provide greater protection for victims, potential victims and survivors of domestic violence and abuse (DVA) in a pan-European context. The project also intends to influence public health strategy in relation to domestic abuse and recognising, responding and signposting for victims and survivors.

 ‘Feels like its Toxic’: ‘Actively’ learning about unhealthy friendships and relationships (December-January 2019-2020)

is an interdisciplinary project undertaken with colleagues in Drama, Rachel McMurray (Associate Lecturer in Drama) and Paul Christie (Senior Lecturer in Drama). It explored and evaluated different approaches for increasing children and young people’s understanding of healthy and unhealthy relationships, as part of a broader strategy for reducing domestic abuse. It is proposed to embed the learning from this project into the teaching of PSHE lessons.

Our project explored year 9 pupils’ experiences of a variety of workshops designed to encourage them to ‘actively’ learn about unhealthy friendships and relationships. We are also keen to discover if ‘actively’ learning about these issues are an effective strategy for teaching young people to identify, challenge and change unhealthy relationship attitudes and behaviours. ‘Actively’ learning about these issues should discourage young people from becoming victim to or, developing abusive practices in future relationships.

The project involved 30- year 9 male and female pupils watching a performance. They then had the opportunity to participate in a forum theatre workshop, where they were able revisit particular scenes from the performance and make suggestions for how to change the outcomes of the play, and see how effective the interventions were.

The second part of the workshop involved male and female pupils taking part in a ‘Dot voting’ activity where they indicated (through the use of dots) whether they were willing to tolerate abusive situations taking place via social media or in real life. Young people then participated in a discussion about ‘red flags’ that warn people that a peer or intimate relationship is, or could be toxic. They will complete the exercise by writing ‘advice letters’ to themselves or a fictional other, warning them how to recognise ‘red flags’ and advise them how to get help. Em and her team are writing up the findings.

‘Evaluation of SURVIVE sexual violence service’ (December 2018-May 2019)

This study was undertaken on behalf of the Staffordshire Women’s Aid organisation who asked the research team to establish whether there continues to be a need for specialist service provision regarding sexual violence, specifically in the county of Staffordshire.
The proposed evaluation:
i) provided an overview of rates of sexual violence nationally and locally (across the county of Staffordshire) – to ascertain whether there is a need for specialist sexual violence support service provision in Staffordshire.
ii) carried out an evaluation of the sexual violence project Survive, which has been running for 9 years. The evaluation was used to support Staffordshire Women’s Aid funding application for national and local funding from statutory services. Additionally, the evaluation offers project managers of SURVIVE, an account of the strengths of the service and the extent to which service users’ needs are being met. It also produced a series of recommendations as to what support staff and service users’ perceive would improve the service.
A report (Temple-Malt 2019) ‘Evaluation of SURVIVE sexual violence service report’ was produced about this evaluation and disseminated to Staffordshire Women’s Aid.

As a result of the Evaluation, SURVIVE were able to secure a further 5 years of funding that will ensure the service remains open to support the needs of women and children who have experienced domestic abuse and sexual violence. Em Temple-Malt will be undertaking annual evaluations of the service for the next five years (2020-2025).

Transforming unhealthy relationships in young people (January 2019-May 2019)

This project has been designed to address the new Sex and Relationship Education legislation that will make it mandatory for primary and secondary schools to teach pupils about unhealthy friendships and intimate relationships as part of a broad strategy for reducing domestic abuse, by 2020. The purpose of the project is to design domestic abuse prevention education that dissuades young people from getting into or developing abusive practices in future relationships. We aim to evaluate whether embedding forum theatre creates more resilient and longer lasting messages that discourages people forming future unhealthy relationships. Our forum theatre pieces allow secondary school pupils to ‘actively’ try out strategies for dealing with abuse in intimate relationships and problem solve and experience in ‘real time’ the likely consequences of their suggested action. Fieldwork commenced in January 2019.

You can find out more about this study here.

Displaying (un)healthy Relational Practices Education Pilot Research Project (2018)

A collaborative partnership between Relationships without Fear practitioners (Arch, NorthStaffs) and an interdisciplinary team comprising Temple-Malt and Senior Lecturer in Drama Paul Christie was established during 2018. The aim of the partnership was to improve the effectiveness of the existing Relationships without Fear educational materials and develop a set of educational tools that could measure how effective this educational package is at modifying young people’s beliefs, values and morals around unhealthy relationships.

Domestic Abuse Forum Theatre and Discussion Event (2017)

A Domestic Abuse Forum Theatre and Discussion Dissemination Event was hosted at Staffordshire University in January 2017. Delegates (incl. professionals who work in domestic abuse services, members from the Safer City Partnership, academics and students from Staffordshire University) listened to a presentation on the study’s findings and commented on the feasibility of our recommendations. Next, audience members watched L6 Applied Theatre Students perform the play ‘On the Edge’ (Christie 2016). A piece of forum theatre informed by key findings from our report along with a perpetrator ‘case study’. The forum theatre piece was designed to encourage the audience to identify and offer suggestions for where productive and feasible changes might be made to the criminal justice system to support the rehabilitation of perpetrators of domestic abuse. Using forum theatre allowed the audience to visualise the potential impact that their suggested interventions could have on existing domestic abuse service provision.

Delegates also took part in a world café event designed to stimulate professional dialogue, recognise good practice and suggestions for where small, subtle changes can be made to the way professionals respond to domestic abuse, with the idea that in the long-term, it could act as part of a broader strategy to help reduce domestic abuse offending.

Exploring Healthy Relationship Education (2017)

Over the course of 2017, some provisional research in the form of a series of Healthy Relationship World Café events to explore the practical aspects of what healthy relationship education in schools might look like, who teens would listen to, and the ways this might contribute to a reduction in domestic abuse. Preliminary world café data indicates that the most effective way of getting teens to recognise and listen to messages about toxic and healthy relationships is giving them the opportunity to engage with visual performances about domestic abuse because it is visual, memorable and kinaesthetic – and the messages about avoiding toxic relationships are more likely to be memorable and enduring as strategies to recognise abuse and to seek help from agencies.

Breaking the cycle of domestic abuse reoffending (2016)

In 2016 Em TEMPLE-MALT and Sarah Page, along with undergraduate student research assistants from Sociology and Criminology at Staffordshire University, completed a qualitative study on behalf of the Safer City partnership, Stoke-on-Trent. The study was designed to explore improvements that could be made to domestic abuse service provision for perpetrators with the intention of reducing offending rates. The study included interviews with 12 professionals who work in domestic abuse services and 4 perpetrators who were engaged in rehabilitative programmes in Stoke.

A report (Page and Temple-Malt August 2016) outlining the study, key findings and recommendations was distributed to members of the Safer City Partnership in August 2016.

A report (Temple-Malt and Page 2018) Breaking the cycle of Domestic Abuse Reoffending: Research Summary for HMPPS was disseminated to NOMs.

Professional memberships and activities

  • Member of the HEA
  • Co-director of Staffordshire Crime and Society Research Group with Sarah Page

Academic qualifications

  • PgCHPE: Staffordshire University, July 2017

  • PhD Sociology: ‘After the Act: Narratives of Display and the Significance of Civil Partnership'. submitted September-2014, University of Manchester, supervisors:
    Professor B Heaphy and Dr V May

  • MRes Sociology, University of Bath

  • BSc (Hons) Sociology, Bath Spa University.


  • Domestic Abuse Education prevention programmes and domestic abuse service provision
  • Implications of changing social attitudes towards sexual minorities in the UK over the past 30 years, and studying the impact that living in this current ‘era of equality’ has on non-heterosexuals’ everyday lives.

Research interests


I am passionate about (and expert) in using most qualitative research methods. I love teaching students about research methods and the processes involved in how to competently design and undertake research projects!

  • Interactionist and social constructionist methodologies
  • Different types of interviews (e.g. focus groups, semi-structured and life-story/narrative interviews)
  • Elicitation techniques (e.g. photo-elicitation, sensory, music, timelines) as a way of eliciting richer stories and experiences of everyday lives
  • World café
  • Survey (questionnaire) design
  • CDA (critical discourse analysis)
  • Archival research


  • Transformation in societal attitudes towards sexual minorities in the UK and the uneven impact that living in this era of equality has had on the everyday relational lives of sexual minorities. Specifically, interested in the division of housework in same-sex couple’s relationships and representations of sexual minorities during the introduction and repeal of Section 28
  • Social historian with a keen interest in studying the stories that emerged from feminist and gay political debates of the 70s, 80s and 90s that centred on sexuality, gender and relational rights. Studying these debates is a useful way to understand the impact that inhabiting particular socio-cultural and historical climates has on people’s daily lives.
  • Theories of self and society and theories of the life course.

Enterprise and commercial interests

Available for consultation; training and review/evaluation of service provision


Undergraduate modules taught include:

  • Discovering Qualitative Research Methods
  • Introduction to Project Design and Research Practice
  • Tackling Inequalities
  • Designing and Conducting Quantitative Research
  • Designing your Dissertation Research Proposal
  • The Life Course: The Early Years

Postgraduate modules taught include:

  • Societal Problems: Classic Debates and Archival Research
  • Researching Crime and Society: Research Design and Data Collection
  • Mastering Research Practice
  • Gender, Sexuality and Society
  • Stories from the Later Life Course
  • Tackling Contemporary Social and Health Inequalities
  • Culture and Identity
  • Research Practice
  • The Application of Theory in Social Research
  • Contemporary Social Theory
  • Research Methods Awareness
  • Researching Media, Culture & Society
  • MA postgraduate dissertation

Supervisor undergraduate; postgraduate and PhD students



#1 Never Going Underground with Juliet Jacques, Em Temple-Malt and Louise Wallwein – listen to the podcast.


Page, S.J. and Temple-Malt (2018). ‘World café: a participatory research tool for the criminologist engaged in seeking world views for transformation: BSC

Temple-Malt, E., (2018). ‘Did you realise homosexual male (gay) relationships were only legalised 50 years ago?’ in Lynes, A., Treadwell, J., (eds). 50 Facts everyone should know about Crime and Punishment in Britain, The Truth behind the Myths. Bristol. Policy Press

Page, S., and Temple-Malt, E., (31st July 2018). ‘Healthy relationships education offers a real chance to reduce domestic violence’. The Conversation.

Temple-Malt, E., and Page, S., (2018). Breaking the Cycle of Domestic Abuse Reoffending: Research Summary for HMPPS. (unpublished report)


Temple-Malt, E., (July 2017). ‘Afterword: Before the Act, 1988’. Page. R. (ed). Protest. Stories of Resistance. Manchester. Comma Press

Temple-Malt E., (February 2017) ‘Civil Partnerships and Changing Family Relationships’: Sociological Research. 26. 3


Page, S., and Temple-Malt, E., (September 2016). ‘Exploring Local Usage and Knowledge Levels in Stoke-on-Trent: Report. Staffordshire Crime and Society Research Group, Staffordshire University, Stoke. Submitted to Safer City Partnership, Stoke-on-Trent & Staffordshire
Page, S., and Temple-Malt, E., (August 2016). ‘Breaking the Cycle of Domestic Violence Reoffending’: Report. Staffordshire Crime and Society Research Group. Staffordshire University. Stoke. Submitted to Safer City Partnership, Stoke-on-Trent & Staffordshire

External profiles

in the UK for Quality Education

Sustainable Development Goal 4, Times Higher Education Impact Rankings 2023

for Career Prospects

Whatuni Student Choice Awards 2023

for Facilities

Whatuni Student Choice Awards 2023

for Social Inclusion

The Times and The Sunday Times Good University Guide 2023

of Research Impact is ‘Outstanding’ or ‘Very Considerable’

Research Excellence Framework 2021

of Research is “Internationally Excellent” or “World Leading”

Research Excellence Framework 2021

Four Star Rating

QS Star Ratings 2021