Nicola trained as a clinical psychologist 30 years ago, and worked in the community with women affected by sexual violence, before turning her attention to research on the sociocultural dynamics underlying rape and sexual coercion.
In 2005 she was a Fulbright New Century Scholar and visiting scholar at the Victims of Violence Program, affiliated with Harvard Medical School. And in 2008 she was a visiting scholar at the Graduate Centre, CUNY, New York City, where she also worked with the New View Campaign to raise critical awareness about female genital cosmetic surgery. From 2008-2013 Nicola, along with Ginny Braun, was editor of Feminism & Psychology (SAGE Publications, London), which in 2013 received a Distinguished Leadership Award from the American Psychological Association’s Committee on Women in Psychology.
From 2012 to 2016 she lead a Marsden-funded project, ‘Pornography in the Public Eye’, which has included various social action projects, archival research on early Women Against Pornography groups, as well studies looking at young people, gender, sexism and media, rape culture, and sexting. She is currently working on a second edition of her 2005 book ‘Just sex? The cultural scaffolding of rape’, which received a Distinguished Publication Award from the US Association for Women in Psychology; and embarking on a new collaborative research project led by Nicola Henry, RMIT, funded by the Australian Research Council, on imaged-based sexual abuse (colloquially known as ‘revenge pornography’).