Lucy Roberts

Visiting Research Fellow

Policing Institute for the Eastern Region

Faculty:Faculty of Arts, Humanities 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 indecent images offences.


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 a CSA offender
  • Trauma of police attending the family home to start an investigation
  • The importance of age-appropriate timely disclosure to children of CSA offenders
  • Defining the support needs for families
  • 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


PG Cert Integrative Counselling Skills, University of South Wales, 2017

BA (Hons) Business Administration (2:1), University of Portsmouth, 1999

Research grants, consultancy, knowledge exchange

Regularly presents at the Indirect Victims of Indecent Images of Children Strategic Group as a Subject Matter Expert since October 2020.

Selected recent publications

Duncan, K., Wakeham, A., Winder, B., Armitage, R., Roberts, L., 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

Keynote presentation: The Forgotten Child Victims of Online Sex Crime. NWG 7th Annual Enhanced Programme of Learning and Development, 20-22 April 2021, online.

Media experience

Unseen victims of internet sexual crime, LucyX tells of the devastation that hit her family. The Locked up Living Podcast, 2021, with psychologist Dr Naomi Murphy and psychotherapist David Jones.