Myths about motives. Myths about victims. Myths about political, legal and institutional responses.
- It’s only a picture, you can move on … myth!
- It’s all illegal now anyway … myth!
- All you need to do is report it to the police and the picture will be taken down … myth!
Our report – Shattering Myths and Lives: A Report on Image-Based Sexual Abuse – drawing on 25 interviews with victim-survivors of image-based sexual abuse concentrates on the reality of this pernicious form of sexual abuse.
Image-based sexual abuse shatters lives. A significant numbers of victim-survivors experience profound ‘social rupture’ – a major devastation that drastically alters all aspects of their lives. Take, Anna (not her real name), for example:
“My whole world just crumbled … I’m nowhere near the person I once was. That’s gone and it’s rebuilding a new part of me now … It’s torture for your soul, it really is”
Victim-survivors spoke of abuse that is constant, ongoing and relentless; that shatters not only their lives, but also the lives of those who love and support them.
And yet, the Government is proposing to wait at least three years – that is until 2022 – before making changes to the law that we know now would make a dramatic difference to victim-survivors. Such as extending the law to cover so-called ‘fakeporn’ and threats to distribute nude or sexual images without consent, to provide all victim-survivors with automatic anonymity, to provide victim-survivors, and those supporting them, with resources and support to enable them to provide bespoke technical and long-term emotional support.
ACTION IS NEEDED NOW
To provide victim-survivors with increased protections, access to justice, adequate support and to prevent further lives from being shattered by this devastating form of abuse. And if the Government truly understands this, it will take action now to correct the most egregious gaps in the law, and increase support for victim-survivors.
Read the full report here