Image-based abuse

Research into young people’s experience of sending and sharing nude and nearly nude images — otherwise known as ‘sexting’.

In 2017, eSafety commissioned a range of research to inform the development of guidance material on image-based abuse provided through the eSafety website. 

The research comprised 

  • a national survey of 4,122 Australians who were active online 
  • qualitative research with 27 female victims and 21 frontline workers
  • a study of online distribution channels

The findings of the national survey examined the prevalence, nature and impacts of image-based abuse among the population in Australia, as well as actions taken by victims and the types of information and support needed. It also explored general community attitudes and bystanders’ responses to image-based abuse.

The qualitative research presents a range of different views, attitudes and experiences of image-based abuse.

About the research

eSafety commissioned the Social Research Centre, in conjunction with leading academic experts from RMIT University, to undertake the national survey and qualitative research. 

The qualitative research involved a total of 38 in-depth interviews during March and April 2017. 17 interviews were with women who had experienced image-based abuse and 21 with stakeholders. A further 10 victims participated in an online discussion board. All victims were between the ages of 18 to 44 but were able to speak of incidents that happened when they were at school and underage.

The national survey was conducted 8 to 21 May 2017, with a total sample of 4,122, including a boost sample of 200 women aged 15 to 45 who had experienced image-base abuse. 

Related research

Technology-facilitated abuse among women from culturally and linguistically diverse (CALD) backgrounds (2019)