Myrna Dawson

Professor and Research Leadership Chair
Department of Sociology & Anthropology
Phone number: 
519 824 4120 x56028
MCKN 641

violence and society, femicide, violence against women and girls, filicide, homicide, sociology of law, feminism, violence prevention, public policy, media, criminal justice

PhD, Sociology, University of Toronto (2001)

Myrna Dawson is a Professor of Sociology, Research Leadership Chair, and Director of the Centre for the Study of Social and Legal Responses to Violence (CSSLRV), College of Social and Applied Human Sciences, University of Guelph. Her research focuses on trends/patterns in and social/legal responses to violence with emphasis on violence against women and femicide. Dawson established the CSSLRV in 2005 with funding from the Canadian Foundation of Innovation to support the establishment of a research centre focusing research activities on understanding and preventing violence. In 2008, Dawson received funding to expand the CSSLRV to create/mobilize knowledge about effective violence prevention through rigorous research, exchange of knowledge to inform policy, and to train future researchers.

Dawson is the Founder and Director of the Canadian Femicide Observatory for Justice and Accountability and Co-Director of the Canadian Domestic Homicide Prevention Initiative with Vulnerable Populations. She is Senior Advisor for the Femicide Watch Platform, a joint project of the United Nations Studies Association (UNSA) Global Network and the UNSA Vienna Femicide Team. Co-authoring the background paper upon which it was built, Dawson served as a member of Canada’s first Domestic Violence Death Review Committee implemented by the Office of the Chief Coroner of Ontario from 2005-2020 before stepping down to focus her research on these initiatives.

Dawson has been an International Visiting Scholar, Faculty of Law, University of Melbourne, 2011; a TC Beirne School of Law Distinguished Visiting Fellow, University of Queensland, 2012; and a Visiting Scholar, Griffith University, Queensland, 2016, where she is an Adjunct Professor. She is the author/co-author/editor of numerous publications and reports including Woman Killing: Intimate Femicide in Ontario, 1991-1994; Violence Against Women in Canada (Oxford University Press, 2011); and Domestic Homicides and Death Reviews: An International Perspective (Palgrave Macmillian, 2017). She has published in various journals; most recently, in Trauma Violence & Abuse, Child Abuse & Neglect, Violence Against Women, Journal of Research in Crime & Delinquency, and the Journal of Interpersonal Violence. She has presented research and delivered keynotes in Australia, Canada, Europe, Latin America, the United Kingdom, and the United States.