Seeking justice and redress for victim-survivors of image-based sexual abuse

Erika Rackley, Clare McGlynn, Kelly Johnson, Nicola Henry, Nicola Gavey, Asher Flynn, Anastasia Powell

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleResearchpeer-review

26 Citations (Scopus)


Despite apparent political concern and action—often fuelled by high-profile cases and campaigns—legislative and institutional responses to image-based sexual abuse in the UK have been ad hoc, piecemeal and inconsistent. In practice, victim-survivors are being consistently failed: by the law, by the police and criminal justice system, by traditional and social media, website operators, and by their employers, universities and schools. Drawing on data from the first multi-jurisdictional study of the nature and harms of, and legal/policy responses to, image-based sexual abuse, this article argues for a new joined-up approach that supports victim-survivors of image-based sexual abuse to ‘reclaim control’. It argues for a comprehensive, multi-layered, multi-institutional and multi-agency response, led by a government- and industry-funded online or e-safety organisation, which not only recognises the diversity of victim-survivor experiences and the intersection of image-based sexual abuse with other forms of sexual and gender-based violence and discrimination, but which also enables victim-survivors to reclaim control within and beyond the criminal justice system.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)293-322
Number of pages30
JournalFeminist Legal Studies
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - Nov 2021


  • Image-based sexual abuse
  • Intimate image
  • Justice
  • Law reform
  • Non-consensual porn
  • Social rupture

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