Perpetration of Image-Based Sexual Abuse: Extent, Nature and Correlates in a Multi-Country Sample

Anastasia Powell, Adrian Scott, Asher Flynn, Sarah McCook

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12 Citations (Scopus)


Image-based sexual abuse (IBSA) is a form of technology-facilitated abuse in which intimate (nude or sexual) images of a person are taken, distributed, or threats are made to distribute the images, without a person’s consent. It is an increasingly criminalized form of sexual abuse, and yet little is known about the perpetrators of these harms, including the extent, relational nature and correlates of perpetration. This article reports on the first multi-country survey study to comprehensively investigate IBSA perpetration. An online panel survey of the general community (aged 16–64 years) in the United Kingdom (UK), Australia, and New Zealand (NZ) (n = 6109) found that self-reported IBSA perpetration was relatively common, with one in six (17.5%, n = 1070) respondents engaging in at least one form of IBSA. Logistic regression analyses identified nine characteristics that significantly increased the odds of having engaged in IBSA perpetration during their lifetime, namely: residing in the NZ as opposed to the UK or Australia, being male, having disability/assistance needs, holding attitudes that minimize the harms and excuse the perpetrators of IBSA, engaging in online dating behaviors, engaging in sexual self-image behaviors, and experiencing IBSA victimization (images taken, images distributed, and images threatened). Policy and prevention implications of the findings, as well as directions for future research are discussed.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)NP22864-NP22889
Number of pages26
JournalJournal of Interpersonal Violence
Issue number23-24
Publication statusPublished - 2022


  • technology-facilitated abuse
  • dating violence
  • image-based abuse
  • sexual harassment

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