Tackling spread of image-based abuse: world-first research on sharing of non-consensual images released at eSafety19 conference

Perpetrators of image-based abuse (IBA) show little remorse for their actions and often do not even understand their actions are against the law, according to research released today by the eSafety Commissioner for Australia, Julie Inman Grant.

The research, commissioned by the eSafety Commissioner and undertaken by the Social Research Centre, is the first to examine the different categories of IBA perpetrators and to reveal their motivations and attitudes.

It will be released in Sydney at eSafety19, a two-day conference co-hosted by eSafety and Netsafe New Zealand.

“Image-based abuse, including the unauthorised sharing of intimate images by former partners in a relationship as a form of retribution, is becoming increasingly prevalent,” Julie Inman Grant said.

“This new research shows it is also in danger of becoming normalised within the community.

“And, sadly, as the research suggests, perpetrators are aiming to humiliate their targets with little remorse.”

Along with IBA, local and overseas experts at eSafety19 will examine the full range of issues currently on the radar of online safety regulators and researchers.

Subjects to be covered in keynote speeches and panels include: progress in the treatment of abhorrent violent online material in the wake of the Christchurch terror attack; innovations in countering online child sexual abuse; the imperative of “safety by design”, the challenge to online safety posed by the rise of artificial intelligence; and the importance of evidence-based, online safety education for youth, educators, parents and employers.

The report on attitudes and motivations of adults who engage in image-based abuse is available at esafety.gov.au/research.

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