Image-based abuse perp motivations

Understanding the attitudes and motivations adults who engage in image-based abuse.

This ground breaking research focuses on perpetrators of image-based abuse and front-line workers who engage with perpetrators on a professional basis such as psychologists and law enforcement. The research is based on detailed interviews with 16 adult perpetrators and 12 front-line workers and provides unique insights into the attitudes, circumstances and motivations of image-based abuse perpetration and the visibility of this behaviour within intervention services.

Key findings include

  • Perpetrators demonstrated little remorse and downplayed their actions through minimisation, tending to blame the victim or even deny responsibility.
  • With the exception of those involved in taking images of strangers and the taking and sharing of child exploitation images, few were aware that their behaviour was against the law.
  • There was a strong sense that on-sharing intimate images without consent was fairly commonplace and becoming somewhat normalised. Some perpetrators highlighted that they were aware of ‘numerous people’ getting away with similar actions.
  • The research also highlights the need to see more action to disrupt the normalising culture around image-based abuse.

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