Sarah joined PIER as a Research Fellow in 2023 after completing her PhD at the University of Hull on the ‘Investigation and representation of multi-perpetrator child sexual exploitation in England and Wales.’
She has worked as a Research Fellow and Research Assistant whilst undertaking her PhD research, and has extensive experience of working with children and young people.
Sarah completed her PhD in 2023. Her thesis examined the investigation and representation of multi-perpetrator child sexual exploitation (CSE) in England and Wales from a policing perspective.
This piece of research adopted a mixed methods approach and explored the challenges of investigating these crimes, wider criminal justice system issues, and links to organised crime and perpetrator characteristics. The quantitative strand consisted of Freedom of Information (FOI) data on the prevalence of CSE, and specifically multi-perpetrator CSE crimes.
She previously worked as a Research Fellow at the Wilberforce Institute at the University of Hull, was a Project Officer on the Anti-Slavery Usable Past project and a Research Assistant on the HeadStart Hull local evaluation.
Her published work on CSE, to date, includes a co-authored chapter with Dr Emma Stephens on 'The impact of the past on child sexual exploitation' (Colley and Stephens, 2020) as part of the AHRC-funded Anti-Slavery Usable Past project, in addition to an article in the Journal of Sexual Aggression entitled 'Perpetrators of organised child sexual exploitation (CSE) in the UK: a review of current research' (2019).
Sarah has also worked with children and young people for many years, including victim-survivors of CSE. She continues to volunteer for the NSPCC on their ‘Speak out, Stay safe’ schools programme.
Child sexual abuse and exploitation
White, J., Hardy, S. and Colley, S. (2021) Independent Local Evaluation of HeadStart Hull - Final Report, Hull City Council. Available at: https://hull-repository.worktribe.com/output/3877725
Colley, S. and Stephens, E. (2020) 'The Impact of the Past on Child Sexual Exploitation'. In: Bales, K. and Trodd, Z. (Eds) (2020) Anti-Slavery Usable Past Handbook, Nottingham: The Rights Lab. Available at: https://www.antislavery.ac.uk/ebook
Colley, S. (2019) 'Perpetrators of Organised CSE in the UK: a review of current research', Journal of Sexual Aggression special issue on multiple perpetrator sexual offending, 25(3) pp. 258-274.