Gordon Campbell | Parliament TV | Parliament Today | News Video | Crime | Employers | Housing | Immigration | Legal | Local Govt. | Maori | Welfare | Unions | Youth | Search


Image based sexual abuse a problem for Kiwis


Image based sexual abuse a problem for Kiwis of all generations, new research report reveals

New research from New Zealand online safety organisation Netsafe reveals that 5% of Kiwi adults have been the victim of image based sexual abuse online, and that the issue spans across generations.

The first of its kind research asked a nationally representative survey of New Zealand adults whether someone had or had threatened to distribute or share intimate or sexual content of them online without their consent.

Overall, 5% of adults reported being affected by image based sexual abuse, with instances increasing significantly for younger age groups, particularly those aged under 30. Although young adults were more likely to report being affected, the research shows that the issue spans across generations with instances of abuse being reported by those 70 years and older.

Netsafe CEO Martin Cocker says that the impact and harm that image based sexual abuse can cause should not be underestimated.

“Image based sexual abuse cases are some of the worst that our helpline sees in terms of the harmful impact that the abuse can have on a person. When people come to us for advice or help getting content removed, we often find that they feel exposed and humiliated to the point where it’s seriously affecting their everyday lives.

The overall percentage of people affected may seem small, but the research indicates that younger people are disproportionately affected in much higher numbers than the rest of the population,” says Cocker.

Men and women were equally as likely to report having been affected, but the research indicates differences in the context that the abuse happens. Women were more likely to report that the reason for the abuse they received was revenge, to threaten/intimidate, or for the other person to increase their social standing. Women were also more likely to report that the person who shared the content was an ex-partner.

Men were more likely to report that the most common reasons for the abuse was a joke or for extortion. Men were also more likely to report intimate content being shared by a stranger or someone that they know well but who is not an ex-partner. Netsafe says that these differences are reflected in the cases that their helpline receives.

“Typical image based sexual abuse reports from adult women tend to involve an ex-partner trying to maintain control, blackmail them or as retaliation for leaving the relationship. Sometimes these cases are part of a wider pattern of family violence.

Reports from men tend to be about sextortion, where they’ve engaged in sexual activity online with strangers which has been recorded and they are then being extorted for money,” says Cocker.

The research shows that 35% of New Zealanders are unfamiliar with the law around image based sexual abuse. Netsafe Director of Operations, Helen O’Toole, says that victim blaming attitudes from supporting agencies and individuals can also dissuade people from seeking help.

“Some victims report they’ve felt blame directly or that it’s been insinuated in some way. Some are told that they shouldn’t have sent the intimate content in the first place, or that they should stop using social media”, says O’Toole.

“This attitude is problematic and discourages people from seeking help. Sending intimate content of yourself is not the issue, it’s when people then on-share that content without consent, and this is supported by legislation.”

Under the Harmful Digital Communications Act in New Zealand, image based sexual abuse can be an offence regardless of whether the intimate content was initially sent consensually or created consensually with another person. Penalties for the offence can be a fine of up to $50,000 or up to two years’ jail for an individual, and up to $200,000 for a body corporate.

Many of the criminal prosecutions under the Harmful Digital Communications Act in its first 18 months were for image based sexual abuse incidents. Netsafe is the approved agency under the Act, providing assistance to people experiencing harmful digital communications. Netsafe received almost 3,000 complaints of personal harm caused by digital communications in 2018.

What to do if you’re affected by image based sexual abuse:

• Screenshot the content if possible and make a record of the URL of the content.

• Report the content to the platform that it's on to get it removed.

• Report the profile/account of the person who shared the content to the platform.

• Contact the Police if you believe a crime has been committed.

• Contact Netsafe if you need more information about your options under the Harmful Digital Communications Act, or if you need assistance with getting the content removed.

Contact Netsafe by calling toll-free on 0508 NETSAFE or visit www.netsafe.org.nz

About the research

The definition of image based sexual abuse used for this research was “the distribution or threat to distribute any intimate or sexual digital communication (e.g. picture or video) online without consent”. 1,001 participants aged 18 years and older from a nationally representative sample were surveyed for the research. The margin of error for this study was +/-3.1% at a 95% confidence level on total results. The survey was conducted by Colmar Brunton.

The full report is available at netsafe.org.nz/image-based-sexual-abuse-survey-2019


© Scoop Media

Parliament Headlines | Politics Headlines | Regional Headlines

Gordon Campbell: On The Elusive Charms Of Christopher Luxon

Well, the first 36 hours of viewing the Christopher Luxon selfie were always going to be the best, before the repetitions set in. We get it, already. He’s an extroverted/big ego/high achieving/God fearing/country music lovin’/family man who is not at all averse to mansplaining to little ladies like RNZ’s Kathryn Ryan what “technical” words like “productivity” actually mean. But wait, there’s more. National is back! Mind you, that’s not the Bad National of recent experience, but the Good National of days gone by... More>>


Luxon: A New National For New Zealand
National Party Leader Christopher Luxon has today announced a new National for New Zealand – a fresh, energised alternative government ready to deliver for Kiwis in 2023... More>>

Cancer Society: Hopes Final Pharmac Report Is Stronger

Today the delayed Interim Report was released by the Pharmac Review Panel. The performance of Pharmac and access to cancer drugs is a major concern for the Cancer Society... More>>

Defence: New Zealand Response To Assist Peace And Stability In Solomon Islands
The New Zealand government has announced that it will deploy Defence Force and Police personnel to Honiara to help restore peace and stability. “New Zealand is committed to its responsibilities and playing its part in upholding regional security,” Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern said.... More>>

CPAG: Child Poverty Monitor 2021 Highlights Persistent Inequities In Rates Of Child Poverty
Child Poverty Action Group (CPAG) welcomes the release of the Child Poverty Monitor today, which shows that prior to the Covid-19 pandemic, poverty reduction targets were largely on track for Pākehā children, however significant inequities remained for tamariki Māori, Pacific and disabled children... More>>

National Party: Bridges Appointed Finance & Infrastructure Spokesperson

Hon Simon Bridges is the National Party’s new Finance and Infrastructure spokesperson, National Leader Christopher Luxon announced today. “Simon has prodigious skills, incredible talent and the intellectual heft needed to excel as National’s Finance spokesperson,” Mr Luxon says.... More>>

Waitangi National Trust: Waitangi Week
The Waitangi National Trust has decided there will be no in-person events at Waitangi Treaty Grounds during Waitangi Week 2022. Under the COVID-19 Protection Framework it would be practically impossible to safely proceed with the usual events of Waitangi commemorations... More>>




InfoPages News Channels