carlijn van baakI am a PhD candidate in Sociology at the Netherlands Institute for the Study of Crime and Law Enforcement (NSCR) and the University of Amsterdam (UvA). I hold a Master’s degree in Criminal Justice & Criminology from Sam Houston State University, Texas, USA and a Master’s degree in Criminal Law from Vrije Universiteit, Amsterdam. During my Master’s program in the United Stated I worked on various research projects focusing on intimate partner violence, honor-based violence,  and (cyber)stalking, which has led to publications in Violence Against Women, Deviant Behavior, and Violence & Victims.

My PhD project focuses on the behavior of bystanders in conflicts between men and women in public and private. In particular, I am interested in the role of gender of both bystanders and the conflict parties. For the first part, I will use video footage from the Municipality of Amsterdam to analyze how male and female bystanders behave in public conflicts between men and women, and how this is affected by gender compositions of the conflicts. For example, are bystanders more likely to intervene if a male conflict party is dominating the conflict? Are bystanders more likely to intervene in conflicts involving a man and woman compared to conflicts involving conflict parties of the same gender?

For the second part, I will use case files of intimate partner violence from Veilig Thuis and conduct interviews with bystanders who witnessed or were aware of the violence. My aim is to discover what actions male and female bystanders undertake during this period, and whether differences emerge in cases involving male victims versus female victims. In addition, I will analyze how male and female bystanders perceive their experience and how this relates to gender components. The study aims to combine social psychology theories on gender and bystanders, including the social role theory and the arousal: cost-reward theory, with a micro sociological approach.