Dr. Ava Kanyeredzi

Dr Ava Kanyeredzi

Senior Lecturer

Mental Health and Social Change Research Group

Department of Psychological Sciences , School of Psychology

Dr Ava Kanyeredzi teaches on the BSc and MSc Forensic Psychology and Clinical and Community Psychology programmes. 

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My work draws on intersectional feminist, critical and community psychology approaches, where I use visual, participatory and action research methods with a keen interest and passion to work with people from groups who are under-researched or marginalised. I have a strong track record of working in partnership with health service and third sector organisations, to lead and develop robust, effective and impactful research projects. I have been involved in a number of collaborative research projects exploring patients and staff experiences of forensic psychiatric spaces and intimate relationships during periods of detention. Currently, I am the research and evaluation lead for the Black Church Domestic Abuse Forum (BCDAF www.bcdaf.org.uk) an interdisciplinary collaboration of academics, practitioners and faith leaders aiming to support church communities to better respond to domestic abuse.


1. "Spirit and Solace: Black churches and domestic abuse"
Women in faith communities take longer to seek support for domestic abuse. This study aims to identify the experiences, challenges and requirements of Black majority churches to effectively respond to domestic abuse. Black majority churches are churches of any denomination where most of the congregation are of African and/or Caribbean heritage and have an over 100 year history within the UK supporting members experiencing discrimination, including recent migrants. Despite their prolific presence and estimated 500,000 membership, we know less about how they respond to domestic abuse as they are minimally included in studies carried out in the UK. Heightened reports of domestic abuse during the COVID-19 pandemic 'Lockdown' further indicates the role of churches in community coordinated responses. An online survey, interviews and focus groups will provide data to promote effective responses, early intervention and multi-agency working within Black majority churches to assist victim-survivors in spaces where they feel safe. BA/Leverhulme Small Research Grants SRG2021\210837 (£9,917).

2. Black Church Domestic Abuse Forum
I am research and evaluation lead for this collaboration of church leaders, advocate, academics, layers, journalist and advocates convened in 2016 with the aim to empower Black majority churches to better respond to reports of domestic abuse. The one-day domestic abuse training is based on the 'Walk in the Way of Love' toolkit that we adapted to the Black majority church context. Attendees are invited to complete a questionnaire before and after the training course with follow up support from the training team who are also church leaders. This is followed by a telephone questionnaire six months afterwards to assess changes and impact of the training on the church environment and response to domestic abuse. Funded by donations (£4000) and pledged £2000, per church trained, by The Cinnamon Network.

3. Emotional Cost of Violence and Abuse research
This project explores researcher motivations, processes and experiences during data collection and interpretation on violence abuse victimisation studies and aims to develop a toolkit for research students and supervisors. Funded by Independent Social Research Fund (£4000) (PI Dr Fiona Vera Gray, Durham University with Co-researchers: Dr Maria Garner, London Metropolitan University, Swati Pande and Dr Joanne Wilson).


Publicly available research outputs are available to download from UEL's Research Open Access Repository (ROAR).


  •  Race, Culture and Gender: Black female experiences of violence and abuse: Kanyeredzi, A.. 2018. Palgrave Macmillan.
  •  Running as self-care. In Okanlawon, K. (E.) This is us: Black British women and girls: Kanyeredzi, A.. 2019. London: Break the Habit Press.. pp. 164 – 167.
  • From 'no means no' to 'an enthusiastic yes': Changing the Discourse on Sexual Consent Through Sex and Relationships Education, in Sundaram, V. & Sauntson, H. Sex and Relationships Education: Addressing Issues of Gender, Sexuality, Plurality and Power: Coy, M., Kelly, L., Vera-Gray, F., Garner, M., Kanyeredzi, A.. 2016. Palgrave Macmillan. 84 - 99.
  • The Role of The Visual in Narratives of Violence: Co-creating Fissures in Taylor, Y (ed). The Entrepreneurial University: Engaging Publics, Intersecting Impacts: Kanyeredzi, A., Reavey, P., Brown, S.D.. 2014. Palgrave MacMillan. 165-184.
  • Finding a Voice: African and Caribbean Heritage Women Help Seeking. In: Y. Rehman, L. Kelly & H. Siddiqui, eds. Moving in the Shadows: Violence in the Lives of Minority Women and Children: Kanyeredzi, A.. 2013. Ashgate. 205-224.
  • The atmosphere of the ward: Attunements and attachments of everyday life for patients on a medium-secure forensic psychiatric unit, in The Sociological Review: Kanyeredzi, A., Brown, Steven D., McGrath, L., Tucker, I. 2019. 67 (2), 444-466.
  • Living 'in between' outside and inside: The forensic psychiatric unit as an impermanent assemblage, in Health & Place: Tucker, I., Brown, S.D., Kanyeredzi, A., McGrath, L., Reavey, P. 2019. 55, 29-36.
  • Agents and spectres: Life-space on a medium secure forensic psychiatric unit, in Social Science & Medicine: Reavey, P., Brown, S.D., Kanyeredzi, A., McGrath, L., Tucker, I. 2019. 220, 273-282.
  • Facing the void: Embodying fear in childhood homes, in Emotion, Space and Society: Del Busso, L., McGrath, L., Guest, C., Reavey, P., Kanyeredzi, A. and Majumdar, A. 2018. 28, 24-31.
  • Feeling 'like a minority'…a pathology: interpreting race from research with African and Caribbean heritage women about experiences of violence and abuse. Qualitative Research: Kanyeredzi, A.. 2018. Online First.
  • Examining professionals' perspectives on sexuality for service users of a forensic psychiatry unit in The International Journal of Law and Mental Health: Dein, K.E., Williams, S., Volkonskaia, I., Kanyeredzi, A., Reavey, P., Leavey, G. 2015.
  • Transformations of Self and Sexuality: Psychologically Modified Experiences in the Context of Forensic Mental Health, in Health: Reavey, P., Brown, S.D, Kanyeredzi, A. & Batty, R. 2014. 18(2), 240-260.
  • Domestic Abuse and Black Churches: A Research Overview. www.bcdaforg.uk/vlog: Kanyeredzi, A.. 2020.
  • 'Walk in the way of Love': Ending domestic abuse in Black majority churches in the UK: Amooba, A.; Beckford, R.; Bowes, E.; Cappel, C., Dixon, M., Kanyeredzi, A., Luke, G., Obaseki, J., Shosanya, D. & Restored Christian Alliance. 2019. London: Black Church Domestic Abuse Forum.
  • Shoreditch Trust evaluation report: Client data, 2015-16: Kanyeredzi, A., McGrath, L., Gray-Buffong, A., Clarke, A, Faruk, S. 2017. London: UEL Clinical and Community Evaluation Team.
  • Evaluation of the Camden Acute Day Units and Crisis Houses: Kanyeredzi, A., Osborn, D., Clayton, K. 2015. Camden and Islington NHS Foundation Trust: Acute Division.
  • 'What coming here means to me': Evaluation of the Rivers Crisis House Interim Report: Kanyeredzi, A., Osborn, D., Clayton, K. 2015. Camden and Islington NHS Foundation Trust: Acute Division.
  • Activity in the acute care pathway: Deep dive analysis: Kanyeredzi, A., Clayton, K., Foster, M. 2014. Camden and Islington NHS Foundation Trust: Acute Division.
  • Readmissions April - June 2014: Kanyeredzi, A., Clayton, K. 2014. Camden and Islington NHS Foundation Trust: Acute Division.
  • Sex Without Consent, I Suppose that is Rape: How Young People in England Understand Sexual Consent: Coy, M., Kelly, L., Elvines, F., Garner, M., Kanyeredzi, A. 2013. CWASU / Office of the Children's Commissioner.


Qualitative Research

Thematic analysis, interpretive phenomenological analysis, visual and creative methods

Lived experiences of violence and abuse

Community responses, mental distress and the intersections with experiences of private and public spaces including forensic psychiatric facilities and prisons, the body, race, gender, sexuality and class.


  • PY4005 - Researching with Small Samples
  • PY5011 - Clinical and Community Psychology
  • PY6304 - Forensic Psychology and Criminal Conduct
  • PY6311 - Psychology Identity and Society
  • PY6344 - Clinical and Community Praxis
  • PY7158 - Applied Research Methods