A new social media campaign from the NSW Government and eSafety is cracking down on image-based abuse by providing advice and support to people who have had intimate digital content shared without their consent.
Reports of image-based abuse to eSafety increased by 172 per cent between March and September this year when compared to the same period in 2019.
Minister for Women Bronnie Taylor said women aged 18 to 24 are among those most at risk, but warned it can happen to anyone regardless of age, sexual orientation, race, religion or socio-economic status.
“Sharing an intimate image or video of someone without their clear consent is never ok. We want people to know exactly what to do if they fall victim to this appalling act,” Mrs Taylor said.
“This campaign highlights everything you need to know about image-based abuse, from reporting an offence to accessing counselling and having images or videos removed from social media and search engines.”
Attorney General and Minister for the Prevention of Domestic Violence Mark Speakman welcomed the campaign and said image-based abuse took many forms.
“This abuse also includes threats to share intimate images or videos and digitally altering material to appear sexual or nude,” Mr Speakman said.
“Recent Government reforms aim to address this abuse too, with courts now able to order an offender to remove, retract, delete or destroy an intimate image when found guilty of threatening to distribute it without consent to give traumatised victims some peace of mind.”
The eSafety Commissioner Julie Inman Grant said it will take a community effort to stop this behaviour. “Parents, carers, friends, partners or siblings – we can all create positive change to stop image-based abuse by calling out anyone misusing intimate content,” Ms Inman Grant said. At the age of 18, Noelle Martin discovered that pictures of her had been stolen and digitally edited into explicit content. She said that raising awareness is important to help stop this kind of exploitation.
“To those who may be experiencing image-based abuse – please know you are not alone and there is help and support available. Please know that it does not have to define you and you can get through it,” Ms Martin said.