Image-Based Sexual Abuse: Online Gender-Sexual Violations

Matthew Hall, Jeff Hearn, Ruth Lewis

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Image-based sexual abuse describes the offline or online non-consensual sharing of real or fake images or videos with (un)known others of a person that are either sexually explicit or sexually suggestive. New information and communication technologies (ICTs) provide many open-ended and undefined possibilities for image-based sexual abuse (IBSA), such as ‘revenge pornography’, ‘upskirting’, deepfake pornography, sexual spycamming, and cyberflashing, to name just a few. These forms of abuse refer to the online, and also at times offline, non-consensual distribution or sharing of explicit images or videos of someone else by ex-partners, partners, others, or hackers seeking revenge, entertainment, or peer group status. The vast majority of these are committed by men against women. Given the many adverse impacts on physical and psychological health and well-being it has on its victim-survivors, exploring this form of online gender-sexual abuse and violation becomes an important endeavor. Situating the discussion within debates on gender and sexuality, the entry discusses the increasing use of new technologies for online gender-sexual abuse and violation, highlighting the motivations of those perpetrating IBSA, the negative physical and psychological impacts of IBSA on victim-survivors, and what has been, and could be, done to combat image-based sexual abuses and other misuses of new technologies, notably through legal, policy, and practice interventions within and between nations.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)327-339
Number of pages13
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 12 Mar 2023

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