Online Child Sexual Abuse - A Focus on Offender-to-Offender Communication

Lead Research Organisation: Swansea University
Department Name: School of Arts and Humanities


This project will analyse the discourse between online child sexual offenders in order to:
(i) understand their perceptions of safety/risk online, identifying any tactics they may use to try to bypass detection;
(ii) explore their online network building practices;
(iii) map their online/offline offending pathways.

The following data will be examined

1. All available full interactions between offenders
2. Transcripts of (2.1) interviews with O-CSAE offenders and (2.2) focus groups with officers conducting these interviews.
3. Metadata regarding social media platforms used during the O-CSAE process, duration and timing of on-line/off-line offending, etc.

The data will be provided at the onset of the PhD (and augmented during year 2 as required) as part of an existing data sharing agreement between TARIAN-ROCU and the project's PI on behalf of Swansea University. The student will not be in direct contact with any offenders as part of her PhD project. She will conduct focus groups with police officers (2.2. above) and she will also examine the language used by offenders when talking to each other online (1 above) and when being interviewed by police officers (2.1 above), both of which contain sensitive and potentially upsetting content. Researcher well-being is thus paramount and the nominated candidate will be able to access the support available to the PI (supervisor) and other members of her research project (Developing Resilience against Online Grooming). This support includes regular (weekly) sessions facilitated by the PI to discuss well-being connected to research, and access to the University's student wellbeing services and support. In addition, specialist (clinical) support group sessions are offered to all team members. These can be followed up through individual appointments if required.


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Studentship Projects

Project Reference Relationship Related To Start End Student Name
ES/P00069X/1 01/10/2017 30/09/2027
2371256 Studentship ES/P00069X/1 01/10/2020 30/09/2023 Rosie Madeleine Marsh-Rossney