Research team contacts

Principal Researcher:

Dr Laura Vitis, School of Justice, QUT

Research Centre / Group:

Centre for Justice

What is the purpose of this research?

The purpose of this project is to investigate women’s experiences of listening to Australian true crime podcasts focused on violence against women. This research project is being undertaken as part of a study for Dr Laura Vitis from QUT.

Are you looking for people like me?

Women aged 18 years or older who have listened to a true crime podcast within the past five years are invited to participate in this research.

What will you ask me to do?

Participation involves listening to eight Australian true crime podcast episodes focused on violence against women then writing or recording (audio or video) diary entries after listening to each episode. If you have listened to one or more of the 8 episodes, an alternative will be offered. Participation has three stages:

1. First interview: Prior to completing the diary, you will participate in an audio recorded interview held at QUT, via zoom or other agreed location that will take approximately one hour of your time. In this interview you will be provided with a set of guidelines for completing the diary.

2. Diary entries: You will then listen to the eight podcast episodes and complete your diary entries and send them to the researcher. Your diary entries can be written, audio recorded or video recorded, this is up to you. Their length is also up to you.

In these diaries you will be asked to reflect on:

  • how you felt while listening to the episode
  • which aspects of the story you found most affecting
  • whether this account made you think about your own safety.

3. Second interview: After completing your diary entries you will be asked to complete a final audio recorded interview held at QUT, via Zoom or other agreed location that will take approximately one hour of your time. In this interview you will be asked to reflect on your diary entries and what you learned about your experiences listening to true crime podcasts.

Are there any risks for me in taking part?

There are some risks associated with your participation in this research project. Firstly, participation in this project will require your time. To participate, you will need to complete diaries entries after listening to 8 podcast episodes (ranging from 40-90mins) and participate in two interviews. To reduce the impact on your time you can complete your diary entries in any way that is easiest for you, via email, Word document, audio or video recording. It is also up to you how much you write or record. You can also listen to the podcasts and compete the entries whenever it is convenient for you.

Secondly, the podcasts you will be listening to will involve accounts of violence against women, including fatal, sexual and/or domestic violence. These podcasts have been selected because they reflect the common Australian true crime narratives. Listening to these narratives may be distressing. To address this potential for distress, a safety protocol will be in place. You will be able to review the episodes before participating, and you will be able to review the interview questions and withdraw at any time during the project.

Additionally, there will be opportunities to debrief with me and negotiate consent throughout the project. Additionally, QUT provides for limited free counselling services for research participants of QUT research projects who may experience discomfort or distress as a result of their participation in the research. Should you wish to access this service please call the Clinic Receptionist on 07 3138 0999 (Monday–Friday only 9am–5pm), QUT Psychology and Counselling Clinic, 44 Musk Avenue, Kelvin Grove, and indicate that you are a research participant. Alternatively, Lifeline provides access to online, phone or face-to-face support, call 13 11 14 for 24 hour telephone crisis support.  Additionally, if the content of these podcasts raises any questions or concerns for you, you can contact 1800 RESPECT (1800 773 732), the 24/7 National Sexual Assault, Family & Domestic Violence Counselling Line for any Australian who has experienced, or is at risk of, family and domestic violence and/or sexual assault.

Are there any benefits for me in taking part?

It is expected that this research project will not benefit you directly. The outcomes of the research, however, may benefit a better understanding of the role that true crime plays in the lives of Australian women and the Australian media landscape. You will be able to see a summary of the outcomes of the study by looking on this project website.

Will I be compensated for my time?

This research project does not provide compensation.

I am interested - what should I do next?

Contact Laura Vitis to hear more about the project.   Download the participant information sheet, which has more information on the project, including the podcast episodes.

Participant information sheet (PDF file, 112.1 KB)

QUT Ethics Number: 5381