Image-based sexual abuse: An international study of victims and perpetrators

Powell, Anastasia; Scott, Adrian J.; Flynn, Asher and Henry, Nicola. 2020. Image-based sexual abuse: An international study of victims and perpetrators. Project Report. Goldsmiths, University of London. [Report]

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Abstract or Description

Experiences of Victimisation
• Overall 1 in 3 respondents experienced image-based sexual abuse victimisation
• Younger adults (20 to 29 years) are most commonly victims
• Sexuality diverse groups experience higher victimisation
• Ethnically diverse groups experience higher victimisation
• Men’s and women’s victimisation differs in nature rather than extent

Self-Disclosed Perpetration
• Overall 1 in 6 respondents had engaged in image-based sexual abuse perpetration
• Men are more commonly perpetrators than women
• Young people are more commonly perpetrators
• Perpetrators have diverse motivations for abuse
• Most common sites for distribution are social media, email and mobile messages

Different Dynamics of image-based sexual abuse
• Most victims are targeted by known perpetrators
• Women report greater negative impacts of victimisation than men
• LGB+ women experienced greater health, relational and harassing impacts

Attitudes and Knowledge of the Law
• Most respondents agree that image-based sexual abuse should be a crime in their country
• Less than half of respondents were aware that image-based sexual abuse is a crime in their
• Most respondents support bystander intervention when witnessing image-based sexual

A Growing Problem?
• Our survey suggests image-based sexual abuse has increased in Australia since 2016
• Non-consensual sharing and threats to share have almost doubled
• Self-disclosed perpetration of image-based sexual abuse has also risen
• Shifting practices in technology use, dating, sex and privacy play a role
• Victim-blaming and minimisation of the impacts of image-based sexual abuse also to blame

Item Type:

Report (Project Report)

Departments, Centres and Research Units:

Psychology > Forensic Psychology Unit


1 February 2020

Item ID:


Date Deposited:

20 Oct 2020 10:29

Last Modified:

13 May 2022 15:37


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