Holly Johnson has been engaged research on violence against women for 30 years, first at Statistics Canada and more recently as professor of Criminology at the University of Ottawa. Her research interests centre on understanding the complex multi-level causes of gendered violence, primary prevention and evaluations of the effectiveness of prevention initiatives, improving societal responses to violence, and improving research methodologies for measuring women’s experiences of violence. As co-lead of the evaluation component of the CIHR project Voices against Violence: Youth Stories Create Change, she is learning a great deal about participatory action research.
Holly is a member of the SSHRC-funded Canadian Observatory on the Justice System Response to Intimate Partner Violence (PI C. Gill, University of New Brunswick) and is particularly interested in examining the impacts of social and criminal justice policies from the perspective of the mostly female clients they were designed to serve. Working on the prison-based Australian Homicide Study with co-investigators Paul Mazerolle (University of Brisbane) and Richard Wortley (University College London), she hopes to cast new light on the dynamic pathways that precede intimate partner homicide. Holly is author of three texts and numerous publications on these topics, including Violence against Women in Canada: Research and Policy Perspectives (Oxford 2011) with Myrna Dawson.
Holly has served on numerous international initiatives, most recently with the UN Statistical Division to draft guidelines to assist countries to implement survey-research on violence against women. She is currently a member of the International Evaluation Advisory Group for UN Women’s Safe Cities Free of Violence against Women and Girls Global Progamme. She is engaged in political activism through membership in the Ottawa Coalition to End Violence against Women, and as Chair of the board of directors of the Canadian Feminist Alliance for International Action.