Lucy Roberts

Visiting Research Fellow

Policing Institute for the Eastern Region

Faculty:
Faculty of Arts, Humanities, Education and Social Sciences
Location:
Chelmsford
Areas of Expertise:
Child and sexual abuse and exploitation

As a subject specialist in how child sexual abuse (CSA) convictions impact non-offending close associates, Lucy is keen to raise awareness around the current safeguarding gaps for children of perpetrators. Her particular interest lies in the impact of indecent images offences on families of suspects and offenders.

[email protected]

Background

Since 2019 Lucy has delivered numerous interactive sessions to frontline police officers, postgraduate students and key child protection professionals. Using examples of lived experience, Lucy offers a perspective of the judicial process that encourages the audience to reflect on how investigations and sentencing affect families.

Preconceptions of responding agencies and negative community judgement compounds and creates additional stresses for a family member who is navigating an unprecedented and traumatic situation. Through discussions with stakeholders, Lucy facilitates the identification of practical strategies/responses that mitigate the harm these external factors cause, to ensure that protective factors are maintained long-term for any related children.

Research interests

  • Minimum safeguarding expectations for children (until they are adults) whose parent has a CSA conviction, and how this should be communicated to the non-offending parent
  • Adverse Childhood Experiences triggered by a parent being suspected of a CSAE offence when the child is not identified as a direct victim
  • Suspects' right to privacy vs non-offending parents' right to freedom of information to safeguard children
  • Community response to close associates of CSA offenders
  • Trauma of police attending the family home to start an investigation
  • The importance of age-appropriate timely disclosure to children of CSA offenders
  • Defining support needs for families of CSA offenders
  • Viability of redefining children of CSA offenders to give recognised Victim status for the psychological, emotional, and economic harm caused whilst achieving a conviction/carrying out community-based sentences

Qualifications

  • Postgraduate Diploma in Integrative Counselling, University of South Wales (current)
  • Postgraduate Certificate in Integrative Counselling Skills, University of South Wales Newport
  • BA (Hons) Business Administration, University of Portsmouth

Research grants, consultancy, knowledge exchange

VAWG National Investigations Improvement special interest working group for online child abuse images, January 2023-present.

Subject Matter Expert, Indirect Victims of Indecent Images of Children Strategic Group, October 2020-present.

Selected recent publications

Duncan, K., Wakeham, A., Winder, B., Armitage, R., Roberts, L. and Blagden, N. (2021) The experiences of non-offending partners of individuals who have committed sexual offences: Recommendations for practitioners and stakeholders. Nottingham Trent University: SOCAMRU.

Recent presentations and conferences

The indirect harms associated with Child Sexual Abuse Material (CSAM) offending and its impacts on non-offending family members: The lived experience perspective. Interdisciplinary approaches to community and security safety (co-presenter), 14 October 2022, University of Huddersfield webinar.

The Knock – the impact on partners, children and extended family when a family member is investigated for downloading abusive images of children, 1st July 2022, NHS Futures webinar, NHS Safeguarding Learning Together Week.

Impact of secondary victimisation of IIOC (co-presenter), 5 April 2022, New Directions in Sex Offender Practice, Forensic Psychology Practice Ltd 11th annual international interdisciplinary conference, University of Huddersfield virtual conference.

Secondary victims of online child sexual abuse offences: Experiences and impacts of the ‘knock’ for non-offending family and friends (co-presenter), 18 March 2022, Annual CSE Police Conference, University of Huddersfield virtual conference.

The Forgotten Child Victims of Online Sex Crime (keynote presentation), 20-22 April 2021, NWG 7th Annual Enhanced Programme of Learning and Development virtual conference.