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Professor of Law, University of Lincoln, Director, Observatory on Online Violence Against Women, University of Lincoln

Kim Barker is Professor of Law at Lincoln Law School. Her research specialism lies in internet law & regulation with particular expertise in online violence against women (OVAW), social media regulation, online harms & online safety, and online misogyny. Her wider research interests extend to online hate speech, and the regulation of online content (especially via social media platforms and online games), and intellectual property law (copyright, and digital content).

She graduated with a PhD in Intellectual Property Law, Internet Regulation and Contract Law from Aberystwyth University in 2015 and over the last decade has established a national, regional and international profile in online violence against women, and online misogyny. Kim has written and presented extensively on the phenomenon of online violence against women, including online harms and in 2022 co-founded, and co-directs Europe’s first (and only) Observatory on Online Violence Against Women (ObserVAW). Kim has completed a number of funded projects exploring aspects of social media regulation, online harms, and forms of violence against women, establishing OVAW as an emerging area of study. Her completed projects include a study of the impact of social media abuse on university students, and the establishment of the first UK-South Korea network on digital and online violence. Kim is currently leading a project exploring the impact of online harms on teenage girls in inner-city schools.

Professor Barker's research in respect of online misogyny and online violence against women has been cited around the world. Her research expertise has been cited in Parliamentary reports and debates, as well as international reports relating to online violence against women, and online misogyny, and has been relied upon by Parliamentary committees, law reform bodies, non-governmental organisations, as well as by Governments. She was one of the leading experts contributing to the development of the first recommendation on the digital dimension of violence against women by the Council of Europe’s independent expert body responsible for monitoring the implementation of the Council of Europe Convention on Preventing and Combating Violence against Women and Domestic Violence (GREVIO). Professor Barker has been quoted widely in media and press articles. She has advised members of the Scottish Cabinet in respect of misogyny, and hate crime reform, and spoken at the UN Commission on the Status of Women event in New York.

She is the author of Online misogyny: A challenge for legal regulation (Routledge, 2019). Professor Barker’s most recent book is Violence Against Women, Hate & Law: Perspectives from Contemporary Scotland (Palgrave, 2022). She is currently editing the Routledge International Handbook on Social Media, Law & Society (2025). She is an elected member of the executive committee of the British & Irish Law Education & Technology Society (BILETA).


  • 2023–present
    Professor of Law , University of Lincoln


  • 2015 
    Aberystwyth University , PhD / Law