Reports from the Revenge Porn Helpline have shown that in this year already, the total number of cases has surpassed those in 2019, reaching an incredible 1,700 cases by early August. This is a huge number to have on record for this time of the year and goes to show what amazing work the team do in supporting victims of intimate image abuse.
Why so many cases?
The work of the Helpline staff has always been such an important network of support. When lockdown restrictions were put in place, more and more people turned to technology and social media. With so much change going on in the world and emotions running high, many were experiencing abusive relationships with intimate image abuse being a controlling factor for many. The lockdown restrictions also made it very difficult for victims to reach out for help and support from close friends and family. We have seen many more victims turn to the helpline for emotional support at the time of their crisis. We are expecting to double the amount of contacts (the number of email/phone call exchanges we have with a case) we receive to the Helpline.
The Helpline has also experienced increased cases of Sextortion, online crimes where victims are lured into sexual activity on webcam or video chat and then blackmailed for money with threats to share the intimate content to friends and family.
The distress felt by so many people was heard by the Revenge Porn Helpline. Their support got victims through incredibly difficult periods with content getting removed online and emotional support being offered from the start. The surge in cases had also led to more and more people being made aware of the ongoing issue through media articles and online publications. A BBC article in particular brought a huge level of support from the public including welcome donations and volunteers offering their help.
What does the future bring?
With this level of cases coming in, the staff are experiencing an unprecedented amount of traffic to the Helpline. With so many people hearing about their amazing work, it gives victims the knowledge of where to find help if they ever experience intimate image abuse.
Not only that, but the Helpline has also taken on a new member of staff to help with the number of cases. No doubt their outstanding work will continue, supporting those who need it most.
If you have been the victim of intimate image abuse, contact the Revenge Porn Helpline for guidance and support. The Helpline is currently operating by an email-only service, please email for support on firstname.lastname@example.org or find further information here: www.revengepornhelpline.org.uk. You can also follow them on Twitter @RPhelpline or on Facebook.