Fri, Apr 01, 2016 - Page 5 News List

Most victims of ‘revenge porn’ targeted by partners

BETRAYED:Statistics showed that 50 percent of the images leaked without permission were initially taken by mutual consent or were sent to the offenders

By Peggy Yu and Jonathan Chin  /  Staff reporter, with staff writer

The Taipei Women’s Rescue Foundation said that 53 percent of “revenge porn” victims who sought help from the foundation through its Web site said that their nude images were leaked by their current or former partners.

All of the victims who asked for assistance through the foundation’s anti-revenge porn Web site were women, it added.

The foundation on Tuesday released the data submitted to its Web site since its launch in February last year.

Seventy-two percent of revenge porn victims were women aged 21 to 35 and 6 percent were underage, with the youngest victim being 12 years old at the time of the incident, the foundation said.

Foundation executive director Kang Shu-hua (康淑華) said that the organization launched the Web site, a help line and a volunteer legal counsel center last year in response to the increasing prevalence of revenge porn, with the media reporting 269 cases last year.

According to foundation data, 73 percent people who spread revenge porn were from the victims’ social circle, and the release of images caused victims significant distress and harm, Kang said.

Sixty-one percent of the images were obtained illegally, while 50 percent were initially taken by mutual consent, or were selfies taken and sent by the victim, she said.

Twenty-four percent of the victims said that they were blackmailed by people who held their images and another 24 percent said their images were released by their ex-partners as a means to punish them for breaking up with them, while 16 percent said their partners used their images to pressure them into resuming the relationship, Kang said.

Late last year, the foundation began a collaboration with the Web sites Womany Wonderland and Lianhonghong, to respond to the questions submitted by victims and provide counseling, she said.

Womanly Wonderland founder Chen Yi-chin (陳怡蓁) said that there is a dedicated section on the Womanly Wonderland Web site for sexual assault victims to share their stories, and that many victims said that society and their loved one’s incredulity to their experiences are major sources of trauma.

The foundation said that nations that had passed legislation criminalizing revenge porn — such as the UK, Japan, Canada and Israel, alongside 27 states in the US — are examples that Taiwan should follow.

The foundation’s legal counsel center can be reached by telephone at (02) 2555-8595, extensions 31 and 32.

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