Managing risk and trauma after online sexual offending

A guide to help professionals safeguard the whole family when a parent has accessed child sexual abuse material.

How can this resource help you?

In 2021, there were over 850 arrests across the UK for accessing child sexual abuse material, including sexual images of children under 18, every single month.

Of these arrests, many individuals will have been likely to have children of their own or in their wider family. Research shows that compared with those convicted of other forms of sexual offending, people who access child sexual abuse material are more likely to be married and have children. For the partners of people who have offended in this way, discovering that the person they love has been viewing or sharing child sexual abuse content can bring feelings of shock, fear, and confusion Рand for children Рthe impact can be devastating.

Written in collaboration with The Lucy Faithfull Foundation, this guide provides the latest research and practice-led information to help professionals to confidently safeguard and support families at a time of great emotional distress.


Hundreds of families will find out a parent or carer has accessed child sexual abuse material each month, so it is incredibly important that social workers and wider professionals are able to make considered decisions to protect children in the home. The guide is split into four helpful sections, describing the impacts on the whole family in the home, what is known about the risks posed by those who access, possess, or share child sexual abuse material for considerations in assessment, advice on providing effective support and how professionals can look after their own wellbeing and contains a list of useful resources.

Wider resources

Helpful training courses