Page 1: Participant information

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I would like to invite you to take part in this research. Before you decide I would like you to understand why the research is being done and what it would involve for you. Before taking part, you should read the information sheet carefully and ask any questions you have. Please only take part if it is safe for you to do so. You may talk to others about the study if you wish. Ask me if there is anything that is not clear.


What is the purpose of the study?

There has been little research in the UK on the ways women experience harassment, stalking, or abuse from a partner either online or via technology. The purpose of this study is to gather women’s experiences to develop our understanding of this issue, so that advice and support can be improved for the future. I am interested in knowing any ways your former partner used technology which made you feel uncomfortable or threatened during or after your relationship, and the ways you might have used technology to find help or end the relationship. I am also interested in things like how you use technology day to day, and how confident you feel using it.

'Technology' might include things like a mobile phone, laptop, tablet, camera, or 'smart home' items such as video doorbells or fitness watches (though is not limited to these items).

Who is the researcher?

My name is Katy, and I am a PhD candidate in the School of Sociology and Social Policy at the University of Nottingham. Before doing my PhD, I worked in an organisation improving access to support for student survivors of sexual violence, and I have previously done training with a specialist domestic abuse charity. I am doing this study because I would like to help develop the support available to women. 

Why have I been invited?

You are being invited to take part because you have indicated that, in a past relationship, you had personal experience of abuse or harrassment from a partner which involved the use of technology. I am inviting a number of women like you to take part, as I think it is important that your thoughts and experiences are heard.

Do I have to take part?

It is completely up to you to decide whether or not to take part.  If you do decide to take part, you will be asked to complete a consent form on the next page. 

What will happen if I take part?

If you decide to be involved with the study, you will be invited to take part in an online survey. The survey should take roughly 15 minutes to complete. Your answers will be held securely.

Expenses and payments

Participants will not be paid an allowance to participate in the study.

What are the possible disadvantages and risks of taking part?

It can be hard to think about difficult events in our lives, and it is possible that you may feel some level of discomfort during or after taking part in this research. It is important that you think about whether you are at a point in your life where you feel able to talk about your experiences, and what support you have around you. If you decide to take part, you can choose to take a break, or to stop at any point.

What are the possible benefits of taking part?

I cannot promise the study will help you personally, but the information we get from this study will help to improve the support available to women who experience abuse from a partner involving technology in the future. Some women who have taken part in similar studies have reported that they found it positive to share their experiences and have their thoughts heard, in a way that will help other women.

What if there is a problem?

If you have a concern about any aspect of this study, you should ask to speak to the researcher who will do their best to answer your questions.  If you remain unhappy and wish to complain formally, you can do this by contacting the School Research Ethics Officer. All contact details are given at the end of this information sheet.

Will my taking part in the study be kept confidential?

The researcher will follow ethical and legal practice and all information about you will be handled in confidence. If you join the study, the data collected will be looked at by authorised persons from the University of Nottingham who are organising the research. They may also be looked at by authorised people to check that the study is being carried out correctly. All will have a duty of confidentiality to you as a research participant and we will do our best to meet this duty.

All information which is collected about you during the research will be kept strictly confidential, secured within the University of Nottingham. Anonymised data may also be stored in data archives for future researchers interested in this area.

All identifiable research data will be kept securely for 7 years. After this time your data will be disposed of securely.  During this time all precautions will be taken by all those involved to maintain your confidentiality, only members of the research team will have access to your personal data.

What will happen if I don’t want to carry on with the study?

Your participation is voluntary, and you are free to stop the survey at any time, without your legal rights being affected. As you are taking part anonymously, it will not be possible for your answers to be removed from the study after you have submitted them.

What will happen to the results of the research study?

The results of the study will be used by the researcher for their PhD qualification and will be shared in academic journals and publications, as well as being made available to professionals and orgnisations. You will not be identifiable in any publications; all of your data will be anonymised. 

Who is organising and funding the research?

This research is being organised by the University of Nottingham and is being funded by the Economic and Social Research Council.

Who has reviewed the study?

All research in the University of Nottingham is looked at by a group of people, called a Research Ethics Committee (REC), to protect your interests. This study has received a favourable ethical review by the School of Sociology and Social Policy Research Ethics Committee.

Further information and contact details

Researcher: Kathryn Brookfield (

Supervisor/PI: Professor Rachel Fyson ( and Dr Murray Goulden (

Dr Melanie Jordan, Research Ethics & Integrity Officer, REC Chair & Associate Professor in Criminology. email:, +44 (0)115 74 87284/ 95 15410


Section 2 - GDPR notice

Privacy information for Research Participants

For information about the University’s obligations with respect to your data, who you can get in touch with and your rights as a data subject, please visit:

Why we collect your personal data

We collect personal data under the terms of the University’s Royal Charter in our capacity as a teaching and research body to advance education and learning. Specific purposes for data collection on this occasion are for the completion of PhD and for publication.

Legal basis for processing your personal data under GDPR

The legal basis for processing your personal data on this occasion is Article 6(1a) consent of the data subject.

Special category personal data

In addition to the legal basis for processing your personal data, the University must meet a further basis when processing any special category data, including personal data revealing racial or ethnic origin, political opinions, religious or philosophical beliefs, or trade union membership, and the processing of genetic data, biometric data for the purpose of uniquely identifying a natural person, data concerning health or data concerning a natural person’s sex life or sexual orientation.

The basis for processing your sensitive personal data on this occasion is Article 9(2a) the data subject has given explicit consent to the processing.

How long we keep your data

The University may store your identifiable research data for a minimum period of 7 years after the research project finishes. The researchers who gathered or processed the data may also store the data indefinitely and reuse it in future research. Measures to safeguard your stored data include anonymisation of data.

Who we share your data with

Extracts of your data may be disclosed in published works that are posted online for use by the scientific community. Your data may also be stored indefinitely on external data repositories (e.g., the UK Data Archive) and be further processed for archiving purposes in the public interest, or for historical, scientific, or statistical purposes. It may also move with the researcher who collected your data to another institution in the future.