Active Research

Delivering trauma-informed support for child sexual abuse victims in Victoria: mapping the knowledge gaps and training needs of the specialist sectors

    • Response to child sexual abuse
    • Understanding child sexual abuse
Research Topic areas 
  • Community awareness
  • Education
  • Government & policy responses
  • Therapeutic responses
Project Duration
Start: July 2023
End: June 2024
Geographical Scope
Young adults (18-25 years)Adults (25-65 years)Older adults (>65 years)
All genders

Project Lead

Dr Amy Webster, Sexual Assault Services Victoria

Project Team

Kathleen Maltzahn, Sexual Assault Services Victoria
Emily Roberts, Sexual Assault Services Victoria


This project will gather evidence that Sexual Assault Services Victoria can use to strengthen the capacity of professionals across the specialist child sexual abuse sector workforce in Victoria, to provide trauma-informed and compassionate supports. In turn, this will improve understanding of the current knowledge and training needs of key sector workforces and identify opportunities to embed trauma-informed curricula into key qualification pathways.


This project will specifically investigate the knowledge, training and education needs required to provide trauma-informed and compassionate supports to victims of child sexual abuse from diverse backgrounds, and their families.


This project will use a mixed methods approach, including a desktop review of key documents and evidence, a survey and focus groups with specialist practitioners representing Sexual Assault Services Victoria member services, to gather evidence that members can use to design and implement a range of workforce capacity building and knowledge translation activities.

Significance and Dissemination

This project will leverage stakeholder engagement through Sexual Assault Services Victoria’s role as the peak body for specialist sexual assault and harmful sexual behaviour services across the state. This approach will ensure findings generated can be quickly and effectively translated into key workforces, contributing to improved outcomes and experiences for those impacted by child sexual abuse.

Further Details

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Funding body:
The National Centre for Action on Child Sexual Abuse
Funding budget:
$35,000 grant
Monitoring and governance:
This project is guided by oversight of the Project Advisory Group and organisational governance of Sexual Assault Service Victoria
Response to child sexual abuse

Evaluation of the Multi-Agency Investigation & Support Team

James Herbert
Centre for Social Impact - University of South Australia
David O'Shaughnessy
University of Western Australia
Understanding child sexual abuse

Conceptualising and Estimating the Costs of Child Sexual Exploitation (Phase One of Australian Study into Economic Costs of Child Sexual Exploitation)

Jonah Rimer
The University of Queensland
Response to child sexual abuse

Effect of multi-agency deliberation on perceptions of risk in responses to child abuse and neglect

James Herbert
Centre for Social Impact - UWA

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