Women do it too: Child sexual abuse in schools

Ms Amanda Robertson1

1Griffith University, Mt Gravatt, Australia

Female-perpetrated child sexual abuse in educational institutions is a neglected subject and there is a dearth of research examining this topic in an Australian context. In this presentation, I will outline the results of a quantitative analysis of administrative data generated by the NSW ‘reportable conduct’ scheme. This employment-related child protection regulation initiative mandates certain organisations to report and investigate particular allegations or convictions regarding an employee’s conduct towards a child, including those of a sexual nature. A total of 809 cases reported between 1 January 2015 and 31 December 2019 comprise the dataset. I will present the results of similarities and differences between alleged cases of female- and male-perpetrated sexual abuse against adolescents in a range of educational contexts. The study is underpinned by an environmental criminology framework, thereby including characteristics of events, victims, and perpetrators and their patterns of interaction. I will discuss implications for risk assessment and prevention efforts.


Amanda is a Doctoral Candidate at Griffith University, QLD. In the decade prior to commencing her postgraduate studies, she worked in various child protection roles in NSW. Most of these years were spent in the education sector supporting schools to manage aspects of child protection and safeguarding. It was in this capacity that she became interested in the area of female-perpetrated sexual abuse in schools and pursued doctoral research on the topic. Amanda’s thesis examines the nature of the phenomenon, the processes that contribute to its development, and institutional responses to the problem.


Aug 26 2021


8:00 am - 6:00 pm