Researching Sensitive Topics Online: Using Mixed Methods in the Context of a Transformative Methodology


This case study is based on research, funded by the Scottish Government, that explored how women, who had reported domestic abuse and/or stalking to the police, experienced the processes of the Scottish criminal justice system. Both domestic abuse and stalking are widely understood as courses of conduct which reduce the amount of control that a victim/survivor has over their life. This case study discusses how the project implemented online research methods to minimize power inequalities between the researchers and researched and provide a safe, accessible, and welcoming space for participants. More specifically, it will describe how mixed methods (in this case, an online survey and online interviews using the Free Associative Narrative Method) were used within the context of a feminist methodology, to ensure researcher bias and power inequalities were minimized, participant control and choice was maximized, and victim/survivor voices were heard.

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