The FCRG is very pleased to announce that PhD candidate – Danielle Kettleborough – has received the inaugural Student Research Grant  awarded by the National Organisation for the Treatment of Abusers. This is a great achievement and will be invaluable to Danielle’s doctoral research, which focuses on increasing the knowledge-base surrounding the users of child sexual exploitation material (CSEM). This research will have important implications for practitioners working with this offender group as it will provide a more specific understanding of their risks and needs.

The awarded research grant (totalling £723.34 ) will aid Danielle in accessing individuals from Prevention Project Dunkelfeld (Düsseldorf, Germany); a free, confidential service for individuals who have a partial or exclusive sexual preference for children that provides therapeutic help, stemming from a “health-based approach”.  There are no mandatory reporting laws regarding CSEM in Germany, which allows for a comparison group of “undetected” individuals that would otherwise be inaccessible.

The majority of CSEM research has so far consisted of offender samples. As such, the theoretical developments to date could potentially be distorted due to biased empirical findings. Little is known about undetected CSEM users and the factors that distinguish this group from those who have been convicted of CSEM use. Investigating these individuals may raise important issues for prevention strategies, risk assessment, and treatment. The use of CSEM is of international concern, and this project could present the first comparison between the health-based and offending-based approach.

The research project is currently in the stage of planning and development and it is hoped that the collaboration will commence in September 2015.