Commissioned research

Online child sexual victimisation and associated mental health outcomes

  • Children & young people
  • Disclosure
  • Online abuse
  • Prevalence
Project Length
24 months
Project Budget
(funded by National Centre)
Funding Stream

Project Lead

Professor Kerryann Walsh, Queensland University of Technology

Professor Ben Mathews, Queensland University of Technology

Project Team

Mariesa Nicholas, eSafety Commissioner

Dr Melanie Burton, eSafety Commissioner

Dr Sarah Napier, Australian Institute of Criminology

Background and Aim

The core aim of this project is to advance understanding of the nature of online sexual victimisation in childhood and, in particular, its associated mental health outcomes. This project will extend current research to generate nuanced evidence of the nature and severity of different types of online risks to Australian children and youth. Further, this project will identify risk profiles for different types of online child sexual victimisation, such as age of onset, and relationship to offender, and the associated mental health and health risk behaviour outcomes of these different experiences.


The project extends current work in the Australian Child Maltreatment Study and analyses a dataset generated in a nationwide survey of 3,500 people aged 16-24 years.


This study will generate an understanding of the mental health outcomes associated with different experiences of different types of online child sexual victimisation. This evidence can inform a precision public health approach to improved prevention and responses.

Related posts: 
  • Children & young people
  • Disclosure
  • Online abuse
  • Prevalence
Commissioned research

Creating safer futures: raising public awareness of child sexual abuse among young adults through digital storytelling

Commissioned research

Survivor perspectives on institutional use of child sexual abuse material

Commissioned research

Differentiating adverse childhood experiences profiles of male youths who exhibit harmful sexual behaviours

Subscribe to
news and updates

Stay informed: Join our mailing list.