Helen Christina Whittle

Helen Christina Whittle

School of Psychology
Doctoral Researcher

Contact details

School of Psychology
University of Birmingham
B15 2TT

Title of PhD: An exploration of the vulnerabilities of child victims of online grooming and implications for professionals

Supervisors: Dr Catherine Hamilton-Giachritsis, Professor Anthony Beech

Interested in issues surrounding child sexual abuse, both online and offline. Currently undertaking work examining the problem from a victim’s perspective and addressing sex offender behaviour.


BSc Psychology (Hons)

Child Counseling Diploma

PRINCE2 Project Manager Practitioner


Following graduation from the University of Kent in 2006, Helen joined the Education Team at the Child Exploitation and Online Protection centre (CEOP). Creating a range of resources (including films and written material) for young people, teachers and police officers, Helen delivered training across the UK and internationally to help protect children online. Additionally, Helen managed projects such as the development of resources for missing/runaway children and those with special needs or disabilities. Helen now works as part of a team in the Behavioural Analysis Unit at CEOP, advising police forces across the country about sex offender behaviour. Specifically Helen assists with the investigative process and interview strategy based on knowledge of victim and offender behaviour and the use of various profiling tools. As part of current research, Helen is interviewing child victims of sexual abuse and sex offenders.


Research interests

Child sexual abuse; online grooming; sex offenders; young people as victims


Characteristics of Online Grooming: A Literature Review (In Submission) 

Vulnerabilities Towards Online Grooming: A Literature Review (In Submission)

Recent presentations include: 

  • Stop It Now Conferences (Midlands) 
  • Community Care Conference on Child Sexual Abuse (London) 
  • CEOP Indecent Images of Children Conference (London) 
  • ROBERT Conference (Berlin)