The Digital Epidemic: Why we need to talk about Image-Based Sexual Abuse


As tech evolves, so do the tactics used to harass and humiliate, all while laws to protect survivors lag behind.

More commonly referred to as “revenge porn”, Image-Based Sexual Abuse (IBSA), is creating, taking, or sharing sexually explicit images or videos of an individual without their consent. IBSA includes threats to share even if content is never actually shared.

Although sharing intimate content is a normal part of a modern relationship (when done enthusiastically and consensually, of course), it is an increasingly common form of domestic abuse often perpetrated by ex-partners.

Their intention? There are many ranging from coercion, harassment, misogyny, embarrassment or humiliation… but a perpetrator’s ultimate goal is to exert power and control over the survivor. This is why, at Equation, do not use the term “revenge porn” because – put simply – it is abuse and not revenge.

IBSA targets millions of people worldwide and the impact is devastating. It is key for frontline workers to understand IBSA and its different forms, and how perpetrators use various devices, websites, platforms and apps to carry this out. Building your knowledge and skills will help you recognise when someone has become a victim of IBSA, and build strategies to mitigate risk when working with survivors.


We can help – book onto our free training

At Equation, we are introducing a brand new training course that delves into IBSA. This course will equip you with

  • A clear definition of IBSA, including an in-depth look into why the well-known term “revenge porn” is unhelpful
  • Understanding of the impact of IBSA on the survivor by looking at real anonymised stories
  • Awareness of the different types of IBSA and what the law says about this, including voyeurism, sextortion, deep fake pornography and cyber-flashing
  • Knowledge of the tech perpetrators use to carry out IBSA in the context of domestic abuse
  • Research around the gendered nature of IBSA
  • Practical tools on how to spot signs and support IBSA survivors.


View all our upcoming sessions here.


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