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Annual symposium

Te Whare Tāwharau was pleased to host our third annual Te Whare Tāwharau Symposium on Sexual Violence Prevention on Campus.

Dr Lorraine Sheridian from Curtin University will be giving the keynote address.

This symposium will take place on 27–28 August 2020.

Check the symposium webpage for further details

Ongoing research

Te Whare Tāwharau is engaged in an ongoing process of researching the sexual violence prevention education programmes and support services offered through the centre. Please check back for updates about future opportunities to participate in research. If you are interested in proposing postgraduate research on an aspect of sexual violence prevention of developing a research collaboration, please contact

Student engagement/recruitment in SVP related programmes

  • Qualitative research exploring ideas around people being apathetic about attending SVP workshops because they think they know the content. Also suggestions about ways that people could be effectively recruited.

Social Marketing Campaign

  • Qualitative research exploring benefits of community consultations when developing campaigns about health/wellbeing.

Bringing in the Bystander (BITB) programme expectations and effects

  • Mixed methods research exploring participants’ expectations and experience from BITB workshops and providing recommendation on how to enhance programme effectiveness in future.

Rape culture in Otago campus

  • Qualitative research exploring presence of rape culture in the campus and students’ opinion about it.


Flip the script

Flip the script is a 4 session rape resistance program designed for first year university women. The program teaches how to recognise danger cues in a variety of relationships in our lives, how to respond to these danger cues, how and when to use self-defence, and encourages participants to have a strong understanding of what is important to them in current and future relationships. This program has been featured in the New York Times as a successful example of a program that decreases instances of sexual violence for participants.

Bringing in the bystander

Bringing in the bystander is a program that is designed to empower students to be effective bystanders in their communities. It teaches students how to recognise when a situation is potentially dangerous and how they can intervene safely in situations in their lives. This program is discussion based, with students learning through real life examples to contextualise the different ways they can intervene, depending on the situation they’re in. Students also work through scenarios so they feel comfortable responding effectively if similar situations occur in their lives.

CommUNIty 102

CommUNIty 102 is a brand-new program designed in Dunedin for first year students in our city. This program looks at consent and the different pressures that students might face in different relationships and how they can respond to these pressures. It is a discussion based program and emphasises students talking about their own experiences and solutions that they could use. There is a strong emphasis put on how to create safer communities and how we can look out for each other.

Past publications

Treharne, G. J., Beres, M., Nicholson, M., Richardson, A., Ruzibiza, C., Graham, K., Briggs, H., & Ballantyne, N. (2016). Campus climate for students with diverse sexual orientations and/or gender identities at the University of Otago, Aotearoa New Zealand. Dunedin, New Zealand: Otago University Students' Association. 103p. Retrieved from

Beres, M. (2017). Preventing adolescent relationship abuse and promoting healthy relationships. Auckland, New Zealand: New Zealand Family Violence Clearinghouse, University of Auckland. 21p. Retrieved from

Beres, M. A. (2018). The proliferation of consent-focused rape prevention social marketing materials. In C. Dale & R. Overell (Eds.), Orienting feminism: Media, activism and cultural representation. (pp. 181-196). Cham, Switzerland: Palgrave Macmillan. doi: 10.1007/978-3-319-70660-3

Beres, M. A., & Bird, F. (2016). Qualitative evidence and the development of sexuality education materials: The case of Family Planning New Zealand. In K. Olson, R. A. Young & I. Z. Schultz (Eds.), Handbook of qualitative health research for evidence-based practice. (pp. 173-185). New York: Springer.doi: 10.1007/978-1-4939-2920-7_27

Beres, M. (2009). Moving beyond “no means no”: Understanding heterosexual casual sex and consent. In B. A. Crow & L. Gotell (Eds.), Open boundaries: A Canadian women's studies reader. (3rd ed.) (pp. 275-282). Toronto, Canada: Pearson Prentice Hall

Beres, M. A., Terry, G., Senn, C. Y., & Ross, L. K. (2017). Accounting for men's refusal of heterosex: A story-completion study with young adults. Journal of Sex Research. Advance online publication. doi: 10.1080/00224499.2017.1399978

Treharne, G. J., & Beres, M. A. (2016). Writing survey questions to operationalise sex, gender identity, and sexual orientation in New Zealand: Perspectives from psychological and sociological research with the LGBT community. New Zealand Sociology, 31(1), 173-180.

Beres, M. A., & MacDonald, J. E. C. (2015). Talking about sexual consent: Heterosexual women and BDSM. Australian Feminist Studies, 30(86), 418-432. doi: 10.1080/08164649.2016.1158692

Beres, M. A., Senn, C. Y., & McCaw, J. (2014). Navigating ambivalence: How heterosexual young adults make sense of desire differences. Journal of Sex Research, 51(7), 765-776. doi: 10.1080/00224499.2013.792327

Beres, M. A. (2014). Rethinking the concept of consent for anti-sexual violence activism and education. Feminism & Psychology, 24(3), 373-389. doi: 10.1177/0959353514539652

Beres, M. (2010). Sexual miscommunication? Untangling assumptions about sexual communication between casual sex partners. Culture, Health & Sexuality, 12(1), 1-14. doi: 10.1080/13691050903075226

Beres, M. A., & Farvid, P. (2010). Sexual ethics and young women's accounts of heterosexual casual sex. Sexualities, 13(3), 377-393. doi: 10.1177/1363460709363136

Beres, M. A., Crow, B., & Gotell, L. (2009). The perils of institutionalization in neoliberal times: Results of a national survey of Canadian sexual assault and rape crisis centres. Canadian Journal of Sociology, 34(1), 135-164.

Beres, M. A. (2007). ‘Spontaneous’ sexual consent: An analysis of sexual consent literature. Feminism & Psychology, 93-108. doi: 10.1177/0959353507072914

Beres, M. (2017). What does faking orgasms have to do with sexual consent? Sexualities. Advance online publication. doi: 10.1177/1363460717708151