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Outrage As Websites Allow Men To Search For Nude Images Of Women They Know

Gregory Robinson

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Outrage As Websites Allow Men To Search For Nude Images Of Women They Know

Featured Image Credit: Shutterstock

Women are speaking out after a horrific website was uncovered for which men collect nude pictures of women and upload them to share with their friends without the woman's consent.

Mail Online reports that a website, which is hosted by a Russian domain, can be used to post pictures of women in addition to their personal details.

Men are using a website to share nude images of women. (Credit: Unsplash)
Men are using a website to share nude images of women. (Credit: Unsplash)

The database includes details of the women’s country, city, postcode and university campus as well as their name and the schools they’ve attended.

This appalling trend is known as Image Based Sexual Abuse (IBSA). Section 33 of the 2015 Criminal Justice and Courts Act states it's an illegal offence to disclose someone’s ‘private sexual photos and films with intent to cause distress'.

However, the Act is not as effective when tackling cases of IBSA and mostly addresses cases of revenge porn, when someone threatens to release nude pictures of another person to cause suffering and torment.

The sharing of private or sexual images or videos without consent is referred to as 'revenge porn' and it was made a specific offence in the Criminal Justice and Courts Act 2015, and holds sentences of up to two years in prison.

Revenge porn is a criminal offence. (Credit: Unsplash)
Revenge porn is a criminal offence. (Credit: Unsplash)

Revenge porn is still a problem affecting too many people - the majority of which are women - in the UK. According to figures released in 2021, cases doubled in the last two years.

In a survey of 2,000 people, more than 40 per cent said they knew someone who had been a victim of revenge porn.

Due to a huge surge in IBSA cases, the Law Commission launched a review of the legislation in 2019 and the report is due this year. The next draft of the Online Safety Bill is currently being prepared.

A woman discovered her boyfriend shared her intimate pictures with his friends on WhatsApp. (Credit: Unsplash)
A woman discovered her boyfriend shared her intimate pictures with his friends on WhatsApp. (Credit: Unsplash)

One woman, who spoke to the Mail Online under the pseudonym Emily, said her boyfriend requested nude images from her during their relationship. She eventually discovered that he had collected the images and shared them with his friends on WhatsApp.

This form of collector culture could lead to the pictures being posted on websites constructed to host nude images and personal details of women without their consent. 

Elena Michael, co-founder of the campaign group #notyourporn works with survivors of IBSA and hopes a change is made to the law to prevent the sharing of pictures without consent.

“From the data we have available, we know IBSA is widespread yet, as a society, we are only just waking up to it. In truth, we have no way of knowing the true magnitude of the problem,” she tells Tyla.

Elena explains that IBSA "disproportionately affects women” and out of the 250 survivors the campaign group has supported since it was established in 2019, only two were men.

Statistics also indicate that revenge porn is a gendered issue, with Revenge Porn Helpline reporting that men account for 76 per cent of revenge porn cases in which the perpetrators’ gender is known.

Campaigners have offered advice for women who discover their private images online. (Credit: Unsplash)
Campaigners have offered advice for women who discover their private images online. (Credit: Unsplash)

The growth in websites that host private images and details of women without their consent is particularly concerning due to “an increasing and disturbing trend of festishing the lack of consent,” Elena says.

“This behaviour has a devastating impact on the lives of survivors who spend the rest of their lives either directly or indirectly managing the impact of this trauma.”

Revenge Porn Helpline has tips to avoid it happening and what to do if you discover your private images have been taken without your consent. The group also has advice specifically for sex workers. If you discover your images and personal details on a website, it's imperative to take screenshots on your phone or desktop as this is crucial for collecting evidence.

Secondly, you can contact the platform to take it down but Elena would recommend contacting the UK-based Revenge Porn Helpline for assistance.

You can also check if your images have been shared with further details about privacy settings here.

If you have been affected by this story and wish to receive help or advice, please visit Victim Support's website here.

If you have been a victim of revenge porn, contact the Revenge Porn Helpline here and #notyourporn on Instagram or Twitter.

Topics: News, Sex and Relationships

Gregory Robinson
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