1,400 cases of ‘revenge porn’ abuse reported across Australia





Posted

September 11, 2019 15:00:59

The eSafety Commission has warned a disturbing amount of image-based abuse — more commonly known as revenge porn — is being perpetrated across Australia.

Key points

  • 2,000 separate URLs hosting sexual images of Australians without consent were reported to the e-Safety Commission
  • One in 10 Australians have committed image-based abuse
  • Perpetrators often show no remorse

The commission has revealed 1,400 cases of image-based abuse have been brought forward by the public since it started accepting reports in October 2017.

Cases involved 2,000 separate web addresses hosting nude and intimate images of Australians without their consent. In 90 per cent of cases during the last reporting period, the commission was able to have the images removed.

Image-based abuse is when intimate, nude or sexual images are distributed without the consent of the person pictured.

More people than ever before are vulnerable, according to eSafety Commissioner Julie Inman Grant, because sharing sexual images has become such a normalised part of dating for young people.

“I spoke to one set of teenagers that told me, ‘first base is when you meet someone online, second base is when you send a nude image and third base is when you kiss them,” she said.

“What? You send a nude image before you’ve met or kissed them?”

Why do people share nudes, without consent?

New research released by the eSafety Commission today revealed perpetrators of image-based abuse showed little to no remorse for their actions.

“Perpetrators are aiming to humiliate their targets,” said Ms Grant.

Many perpetrators interviewed as part of the research thought sharing intimate images of someone without their consent was normal, according to Nicola Henry, Associate Professor at RMIT University and author of the report.

“If you don’t have consent to share or take intimate images of another person, then you don’t engage in that behaviour and that’s quite a simple message,” she said.

“But I think it is something that has become really normalised, I think people are engaging in these behaviours without much thought about the ethics or that there isn’t consent to do so.”

One in 10 Australians have committed image-based abuse, according to Associate Professor Henry’s research.

People who shared intimate and nude photos of victims, according to the report, were often “motivated by attempts at attaining social status” and “feeling that they have gained social kudos in not caring about the impact on victims”.

Perpetrators who had been in an intimate relationship with their victims were often trying to control the target of the abuse and saw their actions as a kind of revenge. These perpetrators were often linked with acts of domestic violence.

The rising prevalence and lack of visibility meant more had to be done to prevent abuse, said Ms Grant.

“We need to stop the darkness of the internet festering,” she said. “We need to make a stand and start doing something about it.”

Topics:

sexual-misconduct,

sexual-offences,

sexuality



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