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Birmingham 2024 - Keynote Speakers




Marcella Leonard – Director of Leonard Consultancy – Safeguarding in sports and reflections on key findings from recent inquiries. 

Marcella is the Director of Leonard Consultancy and Chair of Commonwealth Games Federation Safeguarding Panel. She has been a qualified social worker for over 30 years and is a specialist in the assessment and treatment of sexual trauma. She provides risk assessments for children, adolescents and adults and acts a specialist consultant for a range of agencies throughout the UK and Ireland.

As an expert in safeguarding in sports, Marcella’s keynote will explore how sexual abuse within sport is not a new issue, but it is, in many sports in different jurisdictions, still at the starting block in realising the extent, impact and cost to athlete victims of sexual abuse as well as having effective responses. This keynote will consider the notable aspects of sexual offending within sporting context, learning from enquiries and the unique trauma experienced by the victims.


Nina Vaaranen-Valkonen – Executive Director of the Finnish charity ‘Protect Children’ (Suojellaan Lapsia) – Online preventative interventions and rehabilitative approaches.

Nina Vaaranen-Valkonen is Executive Director of Protect Children, a Finnish Charity conducting pioneering research in the area of prevention. The aim of the charity is to build a world free from sexual violence against children. The three core themes of their work are to support and advocate for victims, survivors, and families; early intervention and treatment; and empower and educate children to stay safe in all environments. Nina’s keynote address will be focused on the findings from their research into users of child sexual abuse material on the dark web. She will also be offering a workshop which will provide more information about the other themes of Protect Children’s work.



Michael Salter – from the University of New South Wales, Australia – The prevalence of child sexual abuse perpetration. 

Professor Salter is Associate Professor of Criminology at the School of Social Sciences at University of New South Wales, Australia. He specialises in the study of organised sexual abuse, complex trauma and violence against women and children. Most recently he authored the largest, nationally representative child sexual abuse perpetration survey ever undertaken, measuring the prevalence of risk behaviours and attitudes among adult males. Professor Salter will be sharing findings, reflections and recommendations from this work in his keynote address, as well as offering a separate workshop to discuss this and other areas of his work with delegates.


Dr Anna Motz & Kate Fraser – The assessment and treatment of women who sexually harm

Dr Anna Motz is a Consultant Clinical and Forensic Psychologist and Psychoanalytic Psychotherapist who has worked in forensic settings for the NHS for 30 years, specialising in evaluation and psychotherapeutic work with criminalised women and training staff who care for them. She is the author of The Psychology of Female Violence: Crimes Against the Body (2008), Toxic Couples: The Psychology of Domestic Violence (2014) editor of Managing Self Harm (2009), co-author of Invisible Trauma: Women, Difference and the Criminal Justice System (2020), and most recently A Love that Kills:  Stories of Forensic Psychology and Female Violence (2023).


Kate Fraser is Head of Prisons and Participation for Women in Prison (WIP), a national charity founded in 1983 to increase awareness of the needs of women in the criminal justice system and promote diversions to custody. Through WIP’s successful campaigns they have since expanded to delivering direct support to women affected by the criminal justice system in prisons, in the community and through Women’s Centres. Kate is based in women’s prisons throughout the country, and oversees support provided to them through WIP’s services. She seeks to represent the needs of vulnerable and marginalised women and their experiences on a strategic level with external policy makers and provider agencies, providing specific knowledge and expertise relating to the impact of the criminal justice system upon women – on individual, familial and societal levels.

This joint keynote will focus on the current landscape regarding the assessment and treatment for females who sexually harm, exploring this in the context of it being a topic which has been overlooked and underestimated.



Alexis Jay OBE –The Public Inquiry and after

Professor Jay served as the Chair of the Independent Inquiry into Child Sexual Abuse (IICSA) since 2016. She is also a visiting Professor at Strathclyde University and chairs the Centre for Excellence for Looked After Children in Scotland. She has worked for over 30 years in social work, working with vulnerable families in deprived communities. She will be sharing her experiences in her role with IICSA, including personal and professional reflections and what she feels is required for the future of safeguarding children.


Professor Aisha K. Gill, Ph.D. FRSA CBE – Professor of Criminology | University of Bristol

and Dr Hannah Begum – Sexual abuse in Black and minoritised communities. 

Professor Aisha K. Gill, Ph.D CBE is Professor of Criminology. Her main areas of interest focus on health and criminal justice responses to violence against black, minority ethnic and refugee women and girls. Her recent publications include books and articles on crimes related to the murder of women/femicide, ‘honour’ killings, coercion and forced marriage, child sexual abuse and sexual exploitation.

Professor Gill will be presenting with Dr Hannah Begum, discussing the key themes from their recent book, Sexual abuse in Black and Minoritised Communities: Improving Legal, Policy and Practical Responses (2023).