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Personal profile

Research Interests

I joined Queen’s University Belfast in August 2014 having previously lived and worked in England, Greece, USA and Canada. Additionally, I have engaged in collaborative projects in Cyprus, Portugal, Spain, France, Austria, Germany, Norway, Turkey, India among other countries. I have a long-standing interest in addressing social problems through a social and economic justice framework which led in part to my studying sociology at York University, Canada for my first degree (1990). I then moved to the USA, University of Minnesota, Duluth to take a postgraduate degree in social work. I qualified as a social worker in 1993 and worked in various settings. I was awarded a PhD in 2003 from Panteion University of Social and Political Sciences, Athens, Greece for exploring issues of teenage relationship violence that Greek high school female students face. My work has informed teenage relationship abuse prevention programs implemented in Greek high schools. Additionally, my research along with my professional experience has also led to my appointment as an independent gender violence country expert for Greece by the European Commission. I have a range of research interests particularly: 1. Gender based violence, including teenage relationship abuse/dating violence in both heterosexual and same sex relationships, domestic abuse, femicides/domestic homicides, sex trafficking, violence that women engaging in prostitution face, etc. 2. The neoliberal transformation of the welfare state, austerity measures and the response of the social work profession. 3. International social work. My research is informed by critical social theory. I welcome PhD students in any of the above areas.


As far as my professional experience, I consider myself a generic social worker. I have a diverse range of professional experience in a variety of settings, such as school, prison and community and with both adults and children/young people. I have worked with (ex) offenders, perpetrators and survivors of domestic violence, refugees and asylum seekers, etc. I have worked both as a frontline practitioner and as a manager. Additionally, I have held posts as the director of a gender studies unit, the director of community development and equal opportunities as well as the planning director of fighting social exclusion in various academic and other professional settings. In general, my academic and practice experience which ranges more than 25 years is underpinned by a strong commitment to social justice and social change as entailed in the global definition of social work.


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  • 39 Similar Profiles
Greece Social Sciences
social work Social Sciences
social worker Social Sciences
violence Social Sciences
abuse Social Sciences
professional association Social Sciences
profession Social Sciences
capitalist society Social Sciences

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Projects 2017 2017

Research Output 1994 2019

Book Review: Paul Michael Garrett Social Work and Social Theory: Making Connections

Pentaraki, M., 24 Jan 2019, In : Critical Social Policy. 39, 2, p. 322-324

Research output: Contribution to journalBook/Film/Article review

Considerations when using online/distant technology for service provision in the field of domestic and sexual violence

Pentaraki, M., 2019, Queens University Belfast. ( Erasmus + KA2 Cooperation for Innovation and the Exchange of Good Practises Agreement Number: 2017-1-EL01-KA202-036170)

Research output: Book/ReportOther report


Importance of Safety Issues during long distance counselling and other lessons learned: Summary of lessons learnt

Pentaraki, M., 2019, Queens University Belfast. 7 p. ( Erasmus + KA2 Cooperation for Innovation and the Exchange of Good Practises Agreement Number: 2017-1-EL01-KA202-036170)

Research output: Book/ReportOther report

Open Access
1 Citation (Scopus)
51 Downloads (Pure)
Open Access
non-profit sector
social worker
mental health

An exploration of issues concerning online help seeking behaviour in cases of intimate partner violence (domestic violence) and sexual violence in Estonia, Greece and Northern Ireland. Needs Assessment

Pentaraki, M. & McNamee, C., Aug 2018, Queens University Belfast. 78 p. (Erasmus + KA2 Cooperation for Innovation and the Exchange of Good Practises Agreement Number: 2017-1-EL01-KA202-036170)

Research output: Book/ReportOther report

women's issues
domestic violence
sexual violence

Activities 2012 2012

  • 1 Membership of peer review panel or committee

University of Hertfordshire (External organisation)

Maria Pentaraki (Member)
2012 → …

Activity: Membership typesMembership of peer review panel or committee