Senior Lecturer in Law, University of Exeter

Rachel Fenton's research interests lie in the areas of gender and the law, violence against women and assisted reproduction. She has published widely in these areas, including on Italian law. She joined Exeter in 2017.

Rachel has a particular interest in education about sexual offences. She set up the Women Law Students Forum at UWE and gained ESRC Festival of Social Science funding to work with her students and pupils at a local secondary school on tackling sexual violence, which was featured on BBC Regional news. She subsequently became the Project Lead for the Public Health England - funded work on bystander intervention for the prevention of sexual and domestic violence in university settings. The creation of the first evidence-based bystander programme for England, The Intervention Initiative, and accompanyng research by Rachel and inter-disciplinary team at UWE has had significant impact on the higher education sector in the UK, being featured in the Government's Violence Against Women Action Plan, recommended by Universities UK and HEFCE and discussed in Parliament. Rachel has given over 30 invited talks to other universities about the research and implementation of bystander programming and has consulted for Universities UK, Universities Australia, HEFCE, NUS, ECU, Drinkaware and AMOSSHE amongst others. Rachel has given many interviews about her research on The Intervention Initiative, including on BBC Radio 4 Woman's Hour, BBC Radio 5 Live, BBC national news, BBC regional news. Rachel has appeared on The Sunday Politics Show and written articles in The Guardian and Times Higher Eduction. Whilst at UWE Rachel won the Vice-Chancellor's award for Outstanding Researcher of the Year with Impact, 2016.

Rachel holds a grant from Bristol City Council for the development and evalution of a new version of The Intervention Initiative for communities.

Rachel has also been part of a UWE team led by Prof Phi Rumney on the evalution of a police specialist rape investigation unit which gained British Academy, Leverhulme Trust and ESRC funding.

Rachel sits on the Editorial Advisory Board for the Journal of Gender-Based Violence.

Rachel is co-convenor with Ruth Lewis (Northumbria) of the Universities Against Gender-Based Violence (UAGBV) Network



  • –present
    Senior Lecturer in Law, University of Exeter


  • 1998 
    Cardiff University, PHD