Image-based abuse perp motivations

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

This groundbreaking research focuses on perpetrators of image-based abuse and frontline 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 frontline 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

  • 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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