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Image-based sexual abuse: a snapshot of New Zealand adults’ experiences

Digital communications Sexual harassment Sexual abuse victims Pornography Image-based abuse Intimate Partner Violence (IPV) Revenge porn

This snapshot report presents findings from a larger quantitative study about New Zealand adults’ experiences of harmful digital communications. The report focuses on the prevalence of image-based sexual abuse (IBSA), and people’s attitudes regarding different aspects of it. The findings described in this report are based on data collected from a nationally representative sample.

Summary of findings:

  • Overall, nearly 5% of adult New Zealanders said they have personally experienced image-based sexual abuse (IBSA) online.
  • IBSA is more common among young adults, especially those aged under 30.
  • In general, men and women were equally as likely to experience IBSA online, but the nature of the experiences differ.
  • About 4% had someone threaten to share their intimate pictures or videos online. This was more common among those under 30 years old
  • Meanwhile, 3% said their intimate content has actually been shared online
  • The sharing of intimate content online without consent was most commonly done by an ex-partner or by a stranger.
  • Perceived reasons for IBSA vary, with females indicating it is done for revenge while males say it is intended as a joke or used for extortion.
  • 7 in 10 adult New Zealanders agree that those in a relationship should be aware of the risks associated with sharing intimate pictures with a partner.
  • People generally lack knowledge of how the law treats cases of IBSA or where to get advice to avoid becoming a target.
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