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  • Dr Larissa (Lara) Christensen
    Dr Larissa (Lara) Christensen

    Lecturer in Criminology and Justice

    Dr Lara Christensen’s PhD (Psychology) focused on the attrition of child sexual abuse cases from the criminal justice process. Lara has a broad knowledge base on child sexual offending, including child sexual exploitation material offenders, the grooming process, cognitive distortions, crime scripts and victimology. Her current focus is female child sexual offending and online child sexual exploitation material offenders.

  • Dr Nadine McKillop
    Dr Nadine McKillop

    Lecturer in Criminology and Justice

    Dr Nadine McKillop’s PhD (Criminology) investigated the origins of child sexual abuse from an integrated, developmental and situational perspective. Also a psychologist, Nadine worked with both offenders and victims within community and criminal justice settings before entering academia. Her research interests include factors associated with the onset of youth and adult offending, the assessment and treatment of youth and adult sexual offenders and program evaluation.

  • Dr Susan Rayment-McHugh
    Dr Susan Rayment-McHugh

    Lecturer in Criminology and Justice

    Dr Susan Rayment-McHugh’s PhD (Criminology) investigated concentrations of sexual violence in crisis zones, remote and marginalised communities and youth-serving institutions. Susan is a psychologist with over 25 years’ clinical and research experience in the sexual violence and abuse fields. Her current clinical and research interests include understanding, preventing and responding to sexual violence and abuse, including endemic sexual violence in Australian Indigenous communities and youth-serving institutions, and on program evaluation using realist methods.

Research students are fundamental to the success of the Sexual Violence Research and Prevention Unit.

We strive to provide:

  • Innovative research projects to support emerging research scholars;
  • Collegiate, stimulating and challenging environment e.g. active writing groups driven by students;
  • Supervisory teams with broad skill base; and 
  • Skills and capacity to work as part of trans-disciplinary teams.

PhD students

Student Project Title Year/s Institution/s Supervisors
Danielle Labhardt A cross-cultural study using sequential triangulation and immersive technology to advance bystander intervention research in sexual assault 2015 - 2018  Coventry University Dr Emma Holdsworth, Professor Sarah Brown and Dr Douglas Howat (Coventry University); Dr Nadine McKillop and Professor Christian Jones (USC)
Timea Molnar Validation of the JSOAP-II on Australian Indigenous and non-Indigenous youth who sexually harm 2017 - 2020 Griffith University Associate Professor John Rynne and Dr Troy Allard (Griffith University); Dr Nadine McKillop (USC)
Belinda Peacock Development, implementation and evaluation of a program for individuals at-risk of, or engaging with, online child exploitation material in Australia 2019 - 2027 USC Australia Dr Nadine McKillop, Dr Sue Rayment-McHugh and Dr Lara Christensen (USC)

Honours students


Student Project Title Year/s Institution/s Supervisors
Isabella Damiris
Sentencing disparities for female and male sexual offending on Queensland: Do they exist, and what is the impact? 2019 USC Australia Dr Nadine McKillop, Dr Susan Rayment-McHugh and Dr Lara Christensen (USC)
Richard Bojack Investigating the onset of child sexual abuse in emerging adulthood: A comparison across developmental life stages 2018 USC Australia Dr Susan Rayment-McHugh and Dr Nadine McKillop (USC)
Melinda Osbourne Critical life events: Pathways to child sexual offending 2018 USC Australia Dr Lara Christensen (USC)
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