Maggie Brennan


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Dr Maggie Brennan is an Assistant Professor in Psychology at Dublin City University. Maggie has worked on research and policy initiatives to combat Online Child Sexual Exploitation and Abuse (OCSEA) for over 20 years. Her work includes multidisciplinary collaborations with major domain stakeholders such as NGOs (e.g. National Centre for Missing and Exploited Children), law enforcement agencies (e.g. Interpol), cross-government forums (e.g. G7 countries) and social media companies. Maggie is a co-founder of CyberSafeKids and the International Working Group for the Prevention of Online Sex Offending (IWG_OSO).

Maggie's research focuses on the role of Child Sexual Abuse and Exploitation Material (CSAEM) and online technologies in the offending process and the impact of this exploitation on victims. She is particularly interested in the development of solutions to: 1) detect, assess and disrupt OCSEA offending behaviour in online platforms (e.g. tools for online risk assessment of offenders, case prioritisation and triage), 2) improve the quality of victim responses and 3) enhance current approaches for the prevention of OCSEA offending behaviour. 

Maggie has led a range of relevant international projects, including a global analysis of CSAEM victims and offenders in Interpol’s Child Sexual Exploitation Database in partnership with ECPAT International - as well as collaborations to develop novel artificial intelligence to improve law enforcement OCSEA offender case prioritisation and the detection of new victimisation, both in Europe and in the ASEAN region. Currently, Maggie is Principal Investigator on an End Violence Against Children (EVAC)-funded project to combat the challenge of OCSEA in the Philippines.

Maggie's interest in this area has led to the publication of two books critically examining the role of technology in child protection and safeguarding from a child rights perspective, as well as the challenge of youth sexting and non-consensual intimate image sharing. A current focus of her work is to help to steer international efforts towards outright prevention of online child sexual offending behaviour as a more meaningful method of safeguarding and protecting children. 

Maggie is also a Fellow of the Higher Education Academy. She teaches on the Psychology of Disruptive Technologies and Psychology and Mathematics programmes at DCU. 

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