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Lived Experience

Liz Roberts MSc

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"My lifelong battle with the devastating effects of childhood sexual abuse has instilled in me a deep passion to speak out on behalf of the countless victim-survivors who have yet  to, or who may never find a voice. My mission is to put the shame where it ALWAYS belongs- with the perpetrator, and I will work with any organisation that shares those goals" 



Lived Experience

At the age of 8, Liz was sexually abused by her eldest brother Andrew Herbert who is 8 years older than her. This negatively impacted her personal and professional  life for 50 years until she finally sought justice in 2020. 

As a former  police officer in Avon and Somerset in the 1980s, Liz had witnessed first hand the way victims of sexual assault were generally treated  by the police. This experience had been a contributing factor to the 50 year delay in coming forward and 'trusting the process'. Fortunately, at the time Herbert's offences were reported, Avon and Somerset Constabulary was the pilot force for 'Project Bluestone', a government initiative aimed at improving charge rates for sexual offences.  The subsequent police investigation resulted in Herbert being convicted on 10 counts of indecent assault against Liz and another victim of a similar age. Following the trial, Liz took the decision to waive her anonymity and engage with various organisations in order to not only highlight the devastating impact familial sexual abuse has on victims and their families, but also to provide a 'lived experience' of the legal system and, in particular, Operation Soteria Bluestone


 Operation Soteria Bluestone

'Avon and Somerset was the pilot force for Project Bluestone, a collaboration with academics which involved ‘deep dive’ research into data and cases in order to provide recommendations on how to increase charge rates and improve support and engagement with victims of rape and sexual assault.

Following the publication of the Government’s Rape Review in 2021 which highlighted low charge rates and a lack of victim confidence in policing and the criminal justice process Operation Bluestone Soteria was launched, which involved the roll out of the Project Bluestone approach to a further 18 police forces.'

Avon and Somerset Constabulary 2023

Academic Background

In 1989 Liz began what was to become a  highly successful career within the Pharmaceutical Industry spanning over 30 years. During this time, she derived the greatest satisfaction from working at the 'coal face', collaborating with healthcare organisations in order to improve the lives of patients blighted by addictions and other mental health conditions. This  passion led to the completion of a Masters in Drugs and Alcohol: Policies and Interventions at the Imperial College, London and the publication of her first book, “Opiate Addiction – How To Become Drug Free” in 2020. Far from being a simple ‘self-help manual', this guide provides the reader with an unbiased account about the causes of opioid addiction, the treatment options available, and how they work. 

Operation Soteria Bluestone
Academic Background


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Interview with ITV's Rob Murphy
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