Meet the team

Dr Cath White
Medical Director

Dr Catherine White is the Medical Director for IFAS. Previously the Clinical Director of St Mary’s SARC, Manchester. She is the Sexual Offence Medicine lead for the Faculty of Forensic & Legal Medicine.

Her research was used as evidence to change the law regarding strangulation. Cath was awarded an Order of the British Empire (OBE) in The Queen’s 2014 New Year’s Honours List for services to Vulnerable People.

Bernie Ryan

Bernie is the Chief Executive Officer for IFAS. Bernie has worked in the VAWG sector most of her career in strategic, educational, policy and influencing roles, nationally and internationally, to improve the response to victim/survivors of VAWG.

Bernie was awarded an OBE in the Queen’s New Year Honours 2017 for Services to Victims of Sexual Violence.

Beth Threlfall-Rogers

Beth is the Administrator for IFAS. She has worked in administration for various organisations including charities and a national sporting body. While at the University of Birmingham studying law she was very involved with the Pro Bono Society, for which she won the departmental prize.

After graduating she worked for a court-based charity as a branch manager. She worked with many survivors of domestic abuse as they navigated the civil and family courts.

Harriet Smailes
Research Officer

Harriet is the Research Officer for IFAS. She has worked in the sexual violence sector, as a practitioner and a researcher, since completing her undergraduate degree in Applied Psychology.

Her research projects have included examining the funding and provisioning of specialist voluntary sector sexual violence services and investigating sexual violence amongst minoritized groups in universities across the country. Harriet is currently undertaking a PhD exploring sexual violence support and resolution interventions in English universities.

Marianne McGowan
Survivor Liaison & Research Worker

Marianne is the Survivor Liaison and Research Worker for IFAS. She is a certified Domestic Violence Practitioner. She has volunteered and worked in the sector in frontline services for the last 7 years. Her academic background is in Psychology & Criminology.

In 2020, she completed a master’s degree in Psychology with accreditation from the British Psychological Society.

Julia Drown
Founder of IFAS

Julia is one of the founders of IFAS. Julia is also a patron of Advocacy After Fatal Domestic Abuse. A former Health Service Finance Director, Julia was the MP for South Swindon from 1997 to 2005 when she successfully campaigned with constituents to get domestic homicide reviews established.

Julia co-ordinated the group organised to get the new specific offence of strangulation and suffocation introduced and to set up IFAS.

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