Maddy Coy

Maddy Coy  

Maddy joined The Child Women Abuse Studies Unit (CWASU) as a Research Fellow in 2006 from a background in specialist services for women and children who have experienced violence, including in a residential unit for sexually exploited young women, outreach with women in the sex industry, and women’s refuges. She has a BA (Hons) Women’s Studies (Liverpool John Moores University, 1998), an MA Research and Social Policy (Birmingham University, 2001) and her PhD (Loughborough University, 2007) explored young women’s routes into sexual exploitation from local authority care. Maddy also has a Postgraduate Certificate in Learning and Teaching in Higher Education from London Metropolitan University and is a Fellow of the Higher Education Academy.

Maddy Is Course Leader for the Woman and Child Abuse MA, the only course in Europe to focus on all forms of violence against women, abuse of children and the connections between them. She is module leader for SS7146 Sexual Exploitation of Children and Young People, SS7147 Violence Against Women: Issues, Research and Policy and SS7148 Sexual Violence: Causes, Consequences and Interventions

Maddy’s track record of externally funded research includes projects mapping specialist services on violence against women in the UK, integrating responses to all forms of violence against women, women’s experiences of child contact in the aftermath of domestic violence and the motivations of men who pay for sex. She has led on evaluations of specialist services for women and children including: Independent Domestic Violence Advocacy schemes; new and innovative forms of provision (e.g. for women and children in the aftermath of domestic violence, and for Albanian-speaking women in London); and multiple projects delivering support/intervention around sexual exploitation of young women. 

In 2012 Maddy edited ‘Prostitution, Harm and Gender Inequality: Theory, Research and Policy’, bringing together scholars from several countries to explore prostitution as cause and consequence of gender inequality. With Dr Helen Pringle (University of New South Wales) and Dr Meagan Tyler (RMIT), she co-convenes the Nordic Model Information Network of academics and researchers who have a critical perspective on the prostitution system. Maddy has also published papers and presented at national and international conferences on sexualised sexism in popular culture. She is an Associate Editor of Women’s Studies International Forum. 

Current projects

  • Evaluation of the Safe Choices project for young women affected by sexual exploitation, gang-association and offending, for the Children’s Society and nia. 
  • A Rapid Evidence Assessment of discourses on child sexual abuse and their influence on institutional responses, commissioned by the Independent Inquiry into Child Sexual Abuse (with Jo Lovett and Liz Kelly).
  • Evaluation of the Synergy Essex (Essex Rape Crisis Partnership) for survivors of sexual violence (with Jo Lovett and Liz Kelly).



Coy, M., Kelly, L. Vera-Gray, F., Garner, M. & Kanyeredzi, A. (2016) From ‘no means no’ to ‘an enthusiastic yes’: Changing the Discourse on Sexual Consent Through Sex and Relationships Education in Sundaram, V. & Sauntson, H. (eds) Global perspectives and key debates in sex and relationships education: Addressing issues of gender, sexuality, plurality and power Basingstoke: Palgrave
Coy, M. (2016) Joining the dots on sexual exploitation of children and women: A way forward for UK policy responses Critical Social Policy Published online 5th May
Coy, M. & Sharp-Jeffs, N. (2016) Evaluation of a specialist VAWG service for Albanian-speaking women in London London: CWASU/Trust for London
Coy, M. (2016) ‚Äč'We don't get this at school: The Safe Choices Reaching Communities Project final evaluation report London: CWASU


Coy, M., Scott, E., Tweedale, R., & Perks, K. (2015) ‘It's like going through the abuse again’: domestic violence and women and children's (un)safety in private law contact proceedings Journal of Social Welfare and Family Law 37(1) 53-69
Coy, M. (2015) Working Paper on Intervention Against Domestic Violence in England and Wales, from the research project ‘Cultural Encounters in Intervention Against Violence (CEINAV), January 2015.
Kelly, L. & Coy, M. (2015) Ethics as process, ethics in practice: researching the sex industry and trafficking in Siegel, D., & de Wildt, R. (eds) Ethical Concerns in Human Trafficking Research Cham: Springer International Publishing 


Coy, M., Kelly, L., Dustin, H. (forthcoming 2014) A feminist 'epistemic community' reshaping public policy: a case study of the End Violence Against Women Coalition in Johnson, H Fisher, B, & Jaquier, V (ed) Global Approaches to Ending Violence Against Women New York: Routledge
Coy, M. (2014) Sexualised SexismPopular Culture, sexualisation and Violence Against Women and Girls London: End Violence Against Women
Coy, M. (2014) 'Pornographic Performances'a review of research on sexualisation and racism in music videos London: End Violence Against Women


Coy, M. (2013) Children, childhood and sexualised popular culture in Wild, J (ed) Exploiting Childhood London: Jessica Kingsley
Coy, M., Kelly, L., Elvines, F., Garner, M. & Kanyeredzi, A. (2013) Sex without consent, I suppose that is rape: how young people in England understand sexual consent London: Office of the Children's Commissioner


Coy, M. (2012) (ed.) Prostitution, Harm and Gender Inequality: Theory, Research and Policy Farnham: Ashgate
Coy, M. & Garner, M. (2012) Definitions, discourses and dilemmas: policy and academic engagement with the sexualisation of popular culture Gender & Education 24(3) 285-301
Coy, M. (2012) 'I Am a Person Too': Women's Accounts and Images about Body and Self in Prostitution in Coy, M. (ed) Prostitution, Harm and Gender Inequality: Theory, Research and Policy Farnham: Ashgate
Coy, M., Horvath, M.A.H. & Kelly, L. (2012) Troubling Notions of Male Entitlement: Men Consuming, Boasting and Confessing about Paying for Sex in Coy, M. (ed) Prostitution, Harm and Gender Inequality: Theory, Research and Policy Farnham: Ashgate
Coy, M., Perks, K., Scott, E., Tweedale, R. (2012) Picking up the Pieces: Domestic Violence and Child Contact London: Rights of Women
Kelly, L., & Coy, M. (2012) Building Blocks: A Strategy and Action Plan for Addressing Violence Against Women and Girls in Thurrock London: CWASU
Coy, M., Kelly, L., & Lovett, J. (2012) Step by Step: Guidance on moving towards an integrated approach to violence against women and girls for London boroughs London: CWASU


Coy, M., Wakeling, J., & Garner, M. (2011) Selling sex sells: representations of prostitution and the sex industry in sexualised popular culture as symbolic violence Women's Studies International Forum 34 441-448
Coy, M., Kelly, L., Bowstead, J. & Foord, J. (2011) Roads to Nowhere? Mapping Specialised Violence Against Women Services Violence Against Women 17(2)
Coy, M. (2011) The impact of sexualisation on young people's attitudes and relationships in NSPCC (ed) Premature sexualisation: understanding the risks London: NSPCC
Coy, M., Thiara, R., Kelly, L., & Phillips, R. (2011) Into the foreground: an evaluation of the Jacana parenting programme London: CWASU
Coy, M., Thiara, R., & Kelly, L. (2011) Boys think girls are toys? An evaluation of the nia project sexual exploitation prevention programme London: CWASU
Coy, M., & Kelly, L. (2011) Islands in the Stream: An Evaluation of Independent Domestic Violence Advocacy Schemes London: Trust for London


Coy, M & Horvath, M A.H. (2010) 'Lads mags', young men's attitudes towards women and acceptance of myths about sexual aggression Feminism & Psychology 20 (4)
Coy, M. (2010) A brave new world: the strip club ban in Iceland and meanings for gender equality Gender and Development 18 (3) 545-547
Coy, M., & Garner, M (2010) Glamour Modelling and the Marketing of Self-Sexualisation: Critical Reflections International Journal of Cultural Studies 13 (6) 657-675
Coy, M., Lee, K., Roach, C. & Kelly, L. (2010) A Missing Link? An Exploratory Study of Connections between Teenage Pregnancy and Non-Consensual Sex London: CWASU
Westmarland, N., Coy, M., Chalder-Mills, J. & Kelly, L. (2010) Understanding Rape in West Yorkshire Durham: Durham University


Coy, M. (2009) Invaded Spaces and Feeling Dirty: Women's Narratives of Violation in Prostitution and Sexual Violence. In Horvath, M. A.H., & Brown, J., (eds) Rape: Challenging
Contemporary Thinking
 Cullompton: Willan
Coy, M. (2009) This Body which is not Mine: The notion of the Habit Body, Prostitution and Dis(embodiment) Feminist Theory 10 (1) 61-75. REPRINTED in Gonzalez-Arnal, S., Jagger, G., &
Lennon, K. (eds, 2012) Embodied selves London: Palgrave MacMillan
Coy, M. (2009) Milkshakes, lady lumps and growing up to want boobies: how the sexualisation of popular culture limits girls' horizons Child Abuse Review 18 (6) 372-383
Coy, M. (2009) 'Moved around like bags of rubbish nobody wants': how multiple placement moves make young women vulnerable to sexual exploitation Child Abuse Review 18 (4), 254-266
Coy, M., Kelly, L., Foord, J. (2009) Map of Gaps 2: The Postcode Lottery of Violence Against Women Support Services in Britain London: End Violence Against Women Coalition


Coy, M. (2008) The Consumer, the Consumed and the Commodity: Women and Sex Buyers Talk about Objectification in Prostitution in Munro, V. & Della Giusta, M. (eds) Demanding Sex:
Critical Reflections on the Regulation of Prostitution 
Farnham: Ashgate
Coy, M. (2008) Young Women, Local Authority Care and Selling Sex British Journal of Social Work, 38 (7), 1408-1424
Coy, M., Lovett, J, Kelly, L. (2008) Realising Rights, Fulfilling Obligations: A Template Integrated Strategy on Violence Against Women for the UK London: End Violence Against Women Coalition


Coy, M. (2007) 'It's fine as long as she's not doing it out of force': Paying for sex - harmful and/or criminal? In Roberts, R & McMahon, W (eds) Social justice and Criminal justice: New directions, London: Centre for Crime and Justice Studies.
Coy, M., Kelly, L., Foord, J. (2007) Map of Gaps: The Postcode Lottery of Violence Against Women Support Services in the UK. London: End Violence Against Women Coalition
Coy, M., Horvath, M.A.H., & Kelly, L. (2007) 'It's just like going to the supermarket: Men buying sex in East London London: CWASU


Coy, M. (2006) This morning I'm a researcher, this afternoon I'm an outreach worker: Ethical dilemmas in practitioner research International Journal of Social Research Methodology: Theory and Practice 9 (5) 419-432.

Maddy Coy

Deputy Director, Child and Woman Abuse Studies Unit,
Reader in Sexual Exploitation and Gender Inequality,
Course leader MA Woman and Child Abuse


T: +44 (0)20 8133 5137