PhD (Criminology):

‘Experiencing sexual victimisation in childhood: Meaning and impact – the perspectives of child sexual abusers’

MPhil (Social Policy):

‘“Different and unequal”: The experiences of families with children with learning disabilities’

BSc (Econ.) (Social Anthropology)

Diploma in Social Studies

Research interests:

I have worked at Swansea University since 1993, first as a senior research assistant and tutor; then as lecturer; and senior lecturer. My research – and much of my teaching, at both undergraduate and postgraduate level – has focused on sexual offending for some years now. I have a particular interest in the impact of sexual violence and abuse on victims; female sexual offending; and issues relating to children and young people who engage in sexually harmful behaviour.

Much of my research focuses on safeguarding and prevention, and amongst my publications are those which examine the strategies employed by child sexual abusers to access victims and perpetrate abuse (arising from an NSPCC funded study). My most recent publication examines the extent to which hotels function as venues for the sexual exploitation of children (Hughes-Jones, L. & Roberts, S. (2015).


  1. Roberts, S. Learning from Adult Survivors of Sexual Violence and their Experiences of Counselling
  2. HUGHES-JONES, L., Roberts, S. Closing the Gap: Confronting the Problem of Hotels as Venues for Child Sexual Exploitation The Howard Journal of Criminal Justice 54 4 336 351
  3. Roberts, S., Vanstone, M. A Child Sexual Abuse Research Project: A Brief Endnote Journal of Child Sexual Abuse 23 6 745 754
  4. Brayford, J., Roberts, S. Female sexual offending: exploring current knowledge (Ed.), Sex Offenders: Punish, Help, Change or Control? Theory, Policy and Practice Explored Routledge Oxford
  5. Colton, M., Roberts, S. Factors that contribute to high turnover among residential child care staff Child & Family Social Work 12 2 133 142

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  • ASC112 An Introduction to the Criminal Justice System

    The module focuses on the following: ¿ The historical development of the Criminal Justice System (CJS) in England & Wales from the 18th century to the present day ¿ The agencies & services that make up the CJS ¿ How criminal justice policy is formulated ¿ government, criminal justice agencies & pressure groups ¿ Links between the study of criminology, law & social policy ¿ Definitions & patterns of crime & how it is recorded & reported ¿ Official statistics, their uses & shortcomings & other sources ¿ The concept of `victim¿ definitions and typologies and the CJS approach to victims.

  • ASC321 Sexual Crimes

    This module provides an introduction to a highly controversial and sensitive social problem, namely 'sexual' crime. The topics explored include: how definitions, explanations and responses to 'sexual' crime vary over time and across cultures; current major, and competing, explanations of 'sexual' crime; the social construction of 'sexual' crime, including the role of the media; the nature, types and prevalence of 'sexual' crime; the consequences of such crime for victims and the treatment of offenders; and the possible links between victimisation and offending. This module also provides an introduction to an important social problem: children as victims of sexual crime. Topics explored will include the following: the response to sexual crimes against children over time and across cultures and the factors that shape how such crimes are dealt with; current major, and competing, explanations of such crimes; the incidence and prevalence of sexual crimes against children; consequences of such crimes for victims;the inter- relationships between intra- and extra-familial abuse (including institutional abuse); AND CHILD SEXUAL EXPLOITATION. It is important to emphasise that whilst the module will highlight the historical and cultural relativity of discourse and knowledge about 'sexual' crime it rejects the sort of moral relativism which in any way appears to condone or tolerate sexual crimes such as rape and child sexual abuse and denies or minimises the adverse effects of such crimes on victims.

  • ASC324 Dissertation

    This module will equip students with the skills needed to produce a dissertation of between 8,000 and 10,000 words. A series of 6 compulsory meetings with dissertation supervisors followed by optional meetings, enables students to complete this task

  • ASCM78 Sexual Abuse and Exploitation of Children

    This module will explore issues relating to the sexual abuse and exploitation of children. The module first considers the historical context to the problem; definitions and cross-cultural comparisons. Other topics include: the social construction of childhood, sexuality and innocence; forms of child sexual abuse, including intra and extra-familial abuse, institutional abuse, sexual exploitation in gangs and groups, child sexual abuse and the Internet; child abuse images and the consequences of abuse for victims.


  • Sexual abuse against male children, comparative analysis in the UK and China (not confirmed) (current)

    Other supervisor: Dr Caroline Jones
    Other supervisor: Dr Susan Roberts
  • "A Multi-Dimensional Evaluation of Youth Justice Services in Wales (awarded 2020)

    Other supervisor: Dr Susan Roberts
    Other supervisor: Prof Peter Raynor
  • Evaluation on probation: Developing gender-responsive and jurisdictionally appropriate evaluation systems for offender services in the British Isles. (awarded 2019)

    Other supervisor: Dr Susan Roberts
    Other supervisor: Prof Peter Raynor

External Responsibilities

  • Senior research assistant/Tutor, Swansea University

    1993 - 2005

Career History

Start Date End Date Position Held Location
2005 2013 Lecturer Department of Criminology, Swansea University

Administrative Responsibilities

  • Senior Lecturer - Criminology

    2013 - Present

  • Safeguarding Officer - College of Law and Criminology

    2016 - Present

  • Examinations Officer for BSc Criminology and Criminal Justice - Department of Criminology

    2010 - Present

  • Disability Link Tutor - Department of Criminology

    2010 - Present

Innovation and Engagement activities

  • Cardiff & Vale University Health Board

Over the past year a good deal of my time has been spent engaging with staff at Cardiff & Vale University Health Board (in particular, the Specialist Nurse for Safeguarding Children & Young People). We're looking at the problem of child sexual exploitation and how we might raise awareness/understanding of that and deter perpetrators. My involvement in this is ongoing and we are looking to disseminate our findings as widely as possible via publication etc.

  • Stop It Now! Wales; South Wales Police; and New Pathways

I also engage with organisations such as Stop It Now! Wales (and have done for many years); South Wales Police; and New Pathways. These organisations work with sexual offenders and also victims of sexual violence. This, of course, is my research area and the collaboration is of benefit in terms of developing knowledge through ongoing contact with those in the field and identifying future possibilities for research.