Nicola Sharp-Jeffs has been working in the violence against women and girls (VAWG) sector in the UK since 2006. She is a Research Fellow within the Child and Woman Abuse Studies Unit (CWASU) at London Metropolitan University. Her research interest is economic abuse.
Nicola has undertaken two ground-breaking pieces of research on economic abuse (Sharp, 2008) and financial abuse (Sharp-Jeffs, 2015). Reflecting her commitment and passion for this area of work she developed the Surviving Economic Abuse (SEA) website in 2008. She has also established an international network of academics, policy-makers and practitioners with expertise in this area and in 2016 was awarded a Winston Churchill Memorial Trust (WCMT) Travelling Fellowship to learn about innovative practice in the U.S. (July) and Australia (November).
Before moving into academia, Nicola was Head of Policy and Parliamentary Affairs for Refuge (2006-11). Here she initiated and led on work related to economic abuse across a range of projects, including successfully advocating for financial abuse to be included in the (then) Labour Government's violence against women and girl's strategy.
Nicola went on to become Director of Policy and Advocacy at Missing People (2011-13) where she oversaw research, policy and advocacy work related to safeguarding the financial affairs of missing people and their families. This resulted in the Presumption of Death Act (2013). Work is still on-going for Guardianship provisions.
Nicola has also worked in international development advising on policy issues within the Office of the Deputy Prime Minister (2002) and Plan International (2003-2006). At the beginning of her career, Nicola spent two years living and working in Japan to promote cultural understanding and internationalisation as part of the Japan Exchange and Teaching (JET) Programme (1999-2001).
Nicola is a first class graduate in Management Sciences (BSc Hons) and a post graduate in International Policy Analysis (MSc) and Woman and Child Abuse (MA). She is close to completing a Professional Doctorate in the Leadership of Children and Young People’s Services. This is exploring the intersection between forced marriage, running away and child sexual exploitation. Nicola is also a recognised UNICEF consultant on birth registration.