PhD Students

D BaderDanielle Bader (PhD Candidate, Sociology, University of Guelph)

Danielle Bader is a PhD student in the Department of Sociology and Anthropology at the University of Guelph. Her research focuses on social and legal response to violence occurring within the context of intimate relationships. Danielle’s dissertation will employ intersectionality to examine how a diverse sample of female victims of domestic violence experience satisfaction with the criminal and family court systems. Danielle received her B.A. in Criminology at York University (2009) and her M.A. in Criminology and Criminal Justice Policy at the University of Guelph (2015). Danielle’s Master’s thesis was part of a larger community engaged evaluation research study of a sexual assault and domestic violence protocol implemented in Guelph-Wellington to improve the local response to violence against women. Her thesis was an evaluation of the protocol from the service user perspective and examined whether the protocol improved women’s experiences with service providers upon disclosure of violence. Danielle is currently examining whether gender of the accused determines the number and type of charges laid in domestic violence cases. Danielle is working under the supervision of Dr. Myrna Dawson.

Guila BenchimolGuila Benchimol (PhD Candidate, Sociology, University of Guelph)

Guila Benchimol is a PhD candidate in Sociology at the University of Guelph. Her research examines crimes committed both in and outside of insular communities. Her dissertation project is examining how some victims of sexual violence go on to become anti-sexual violence advocates or activists. Under the supervision of Dr. Myrna Dawson, she will study the various processes that survivors experience, including victimizations and disclosures, which lead them to advocate. Her M.A. thesis examined how the 2011 Kletzky murder in Brooklyn, New York’s Orthodox Jewish community affected community members as well as whether it was a catalyst in pushing the boundaries that the larger Orthodox Jewish community maintains. It also analyzed whether community members were united or divided in how to address communal concerns that arose following the crime. Guila serves as a research assistant for various projects for the Centre and has worked for the Canadian federal government at the Competition Bureau. She has also worked with victims of crime at the Barbra Schlifer Commemorative Clinic. Her research interests have been influenced by her first career as a Jewish educator. Guila was the Director of Judaic Studies at Tiferes Bais Yaakov and the Managing Director for the National Conference of Synagogue Youth in Toronto. Guila is a Wexner Graduate Fellow/Davidson Scholar and a consultant for Jewish institutions on their community safety and protection policies. She has published several op-eds about sexual violence and sexual violence in the Jewish community for Huffington Post Canada, The Jewish Week, Canadian Jewish News, Alt-Muslimah, Times of Israel, and more. She has been invited to address rabbinical students, advocates, mental health professionals, academics, and Jewish and Muslim communities in Canada, the United States, and Israel about her work


Anna JohnsonAnna Johnson (PhD Student, Sociology, University of Guelph)

Anna Johnson is a PhD student in the Department of Sociology and Anthropology at the University of Guelph. Her research focuses on the sentencing of Indigenous offenders across Canada. Specifically, she examines whether judges consider alternatives to incarceration as instructed in the Canadian Criminal Code. For her PhD research, Anna is comparing the treatment of Indigenous peoples in specialized Indigenous Courts in Canada and Australia given that indigenous peoples are overrepresented in the prison systems in both countries. Anna received her B.A. from Nipissing University with a major in Criminal Justice and a minor in Sociology in 2014. She completed her M.A. in Criminology and Criminal Justice Policy at the University of Guelph in 2016. She is the author of "Invisible No More: Sentencing Post-Gladue in Manitoba and Saskatchewan Manslaughter Cases" published in the Windsor Review of Social and Legal Issues (2016) and co-author of “Filicide" published in Oxford Bibliographies in Childhood Studies [in press]. Anna works on various projects at the Centre including two large SSHRC-funded projects: (1) the Geography of Justice; and (2) the Canadian Domestic Homicide Prevention Initiative with Vulnerable Populations. Anna's PhD research is being supervised by Dr. Myrna Dawson. 


Nicole Jeffery

Nicole Jeffrey (PhD Candidate, Applied Social Psychology, University of Guelph)

Nicole Jeffrey is a PhD student in the Department of Psychology (Applied Social stream) at the University of Guelph. Her research has mainly focused on issues of violence against women, including sexual and intimate partner violence. Nicole received her BAS in Psychology and Biology at the University of Windsor in 2011 and her MA in Psychology at the University of Guelph in 2014. For her MA thesis, she used qualitative interview data to examine university women’s subjective experiences of sexual coercion victimization in intimate relationships with men, including their emotional responses, interpretations of their partners’ coercion, and the effects it had on their relationships. For her PhD dissertation, Nicole intends to extend her MA research by examining men’s subjective experiences perpetrating sexual coercion in intimate relationships and the ways in which men talk about sex, dating, and sexual coercion with other men. In addition to her current work as a research assistant for Dr. Myrna Dawson for the Canadian Domestic Homicide Prevention Initiative for Vulnerable Populations, Nicole has also assisted Drs. Charlene Senn (University of Windsor) and Paula Barata (University of Guelph) on a national Sexual Assault Resistance Randomized Controlled Trial. Nicole’s PhD research is being supervised by Dr. Paula Barata, Psychology.

Julie PoonJulie Poon (PhD Candidate, Sociology, University of Guelph)Julie Poon is a PhD candidate in Sociology at the University of Guelph. Her dissertation research examines how women who have been court mandated to attend batterer intervention programs interpret their use of force as well as the effectiveness of batter intervention programs in addressing the lived realities of these women. Julie has served as a research assistant for various projects including the Canadian Observatory on the Justice System Response to Intimate Partner Violence; Strategic Program Development and Program Support for the City of Toronto Employment and Social Services division; and the Centre for the Study of Social and Legal Responses to Violence, University of Guelph. She has worked with Dr. Dawson on various research projects, including (1) the examination of the rise of specialized domestic violence courts in Canada; (2) organizing and hosting a national workshop which lead to a co-authored report on documenting resources for victims and survivors of violence funded by the Department of Justice; (3) an international research project examining the evolution of domestic violence death review committees. She has also worked with Dr. Paula Barata, University of Guelph, and Dr. Charlene Senn, University of Windsor, as a program facilitator for a CIHR-funded sexual assault resistance education program. Julie was lead author on a study based on her MA research examining factors affecting the likelihood of sole and dual charging of women in cases of intimate partner violence which was published in Violence Against Women and, most recently, she co-authored a chapter comparing domestic/family violence death reviews at an international level published in Domestic Homicides and Death Reviews: An International Perspective. Julie’s PhD is being supervised by Dr. Myrna Dawson.


Danielle SuttonDanielle Sutton (PhD Candidate, Sociology, University of Guelph)Danielle Sutton is a PhD student in Sociology at the University of Guelph. While completing her undergraduate degrees in Criminal Justice and Public Policy (BAH) and Psychology (BA), she developed several broad, and overlapping research interests in the areas of policing, intimate partner violence (IPV), homicide, and sociological theory. Her MA thesis was a comparative content analysis which examined media constructions of officer-involved domestic violence (OIDV) against media representations of civilian IPV. In doing so, her research was the first to produce preliminary empirical data on OIDV in Canada while advancing literature on media constructions of IPV and media constructions of police violence. This research has been presented at both regional and international conferences. Since presenting her thesis findings at academic conferences, she has continued to attend national and international conferences presenting forthcoming work on: The characteristics of IPV incidents by relationship status, state, and length; how police homicides differ depending on whether the officer is a victim or perpetrator; and femicides of women aged 55 years and older. Her dissertation will examine the characteristics and progression of police use of deadly force in Ontario from 1985 to present day, funded by an Ontario Graduate Scholarship. Danielle also serves as a senior research assistant on various SSHRC-funded projects for the Centre, including: (1) the Geography of Justice project; and (2) the Canadian Domestic Homicide Prevention Initiative with Vulnerable Populations. Her PhD research is being supervised by Dr. Myrna Dawson.