Active Research

Survivor perspectives on institutional use of child sexual abuse material

    • Needs of victims and survivors
    • Response to child sexual abuse
Research Topic areas 
  • Child sexual exploitation
  • Government & policy responses
  • Justice & legal responses
  • Online abuse
Project Duration
Start: July 2023
End: February 2025
Geographical Scope
Victims and survivors
Young adults (18-25 years)Adults (25-65 years)Older adults (>65 years)
All genders

Project Lead

Associate Professor Campbell Wilson, AiLECS Lab, Monash University

Project Team

Dr Gregory Rolan, AiLECS Lab, Monash University
Dr Antonina Lewis, AiLECS Lab, Monash University


This project will work with victims and survivors of crimes involving child sexual abuse material to investigate attitudes and knowledge about how these materials are used in institutional contexts. This will involve the building of an evidence base and associated recommendations for survivor-centred policy and practice.


This project will promote the acknowledgement and incorporation of victim and survivor perspectives in the design and implementation of tools and processes that use child sexual abuse materials during investigation or prosecution, or as data in broader crime prevention research, including development of technology solutions to counter child sexual abuse material.


The study will take a trauma-informed approach towards research co-production with victims and survivors of child sexual abuse. This mixed methods approach will utilise surveys, interviews and validation discussions with victim and survivors, as well as involvement of institutional users of child sexual abuse materials, including support and advocacy organisations.

Significance and Dissemination

This is the first study centred on victim and survivor attitudes towards institutional use of child sexual abuse material. Addressing this gap will help to balance benefits that derive from its institutional uses against trauma risks or other impacts that may arise as a consequence of institutional retention, use and sharing of such material.

Further Details

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Funding body:
The National Centre for Action on Child Sexual Abuse
Funding budget:
$240,415 grant
Monitoring and governance:
This project is guided by oversight of the Project Advisory Group
Australian Human Research Ethics Committee:
This project is subject to ethical oversight by the Monash University Human Research Ethics Committee
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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