The Role of Parents in the Production of Child Sexual Abuse Material of Their Children

Child exploitation material (CEM) is widely available online. Existing research indicates that the parents and/or parental figures of victims are notably represented in offender populations. However, there is limited research into cases of parental involvement in the production and distribution of CEM. This paper presents the findings of a study of Australian legal cases in which parents were prosecuted for producing CEM of their children. Drawing on case reports from Australian media and legal databases, this study created a database of 82 cases of CEM production and distribution perpetrated by parents and/or parental figures from 2009 to 2018. The presentation will discuss the common characteristics and scenarios of parental CEM perpetration, and emphasize opportunities for prevention, early intervention and improved responses to victims.

This session was originally presented as a live webinar in October 2020.

Target Audience


Learning Objectives

Upon completion of this webinar participants will be able to:

  • Identify the role of parents in the creation and distribution of CEM
  • Describe the key scenarios of parental CEM perpetration identified in legal cases
  • Discuss the responses of children to parental CEM perpetration
  • Analyze the challenges to investigation and prosecution of parental CEM offending
Course summary
Available credit: 
  • 1.50 ISSTD Certificate Program
    This program is eligible for 1.50 credits in the ISSTD Certificate Program.
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Presenter: Michael Salter, PhD
Presenter Biography: A/Prof Michael Salter is a criminologist and Scientia Fellow at the University of New South Wales. His research is focused on child abuse, gendered violence and complex trauma, particularly organised abuse and technologicallyfacilitated abuse. He is the author of Organised Sexual Abuse (Routledge, 2013) and Crime, Justice and Social Media (Routledge, 2017) as well as numerous papers. He sits on the board of directors of the International Society for the Study of Trauma and Dissociation, and he is an advisor to the Australian Office of the eSafety Commissioner and the Canadian Centre for Child Protection.

Available Credit

  • 1.50 ISSTD Certificate Program
    This program is eligible for 1.50 credits in the ISSTD Certificate Program.


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