Intimate Image Abuse: An Evolving Landscape

Download the five year report from the Revenge Porn Helpline 

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  1. Catalogue
  2. Research
  3. Intimate Image Abuse: An Evolving Landscape

Our mission is to empower all victims of intimate image abuse with support, practical help, and advice. The Revenge Porn Helpline (RPH) has continued to evolve as the law, practice, and the needs of our clients have changed. RPH has continued to develop the support they can offer by building partnerships and improving practice. Primarily, the helpline offers advice and information regarding the law around intimate image abuse, how to report to the police, how to collect evidence and the reporting of illegal content for removal. 

Intimate Image Abuse 

The Revenge Porn Helpline is operated by South West Grid for Learning (SWGfL) and supports victims of intimate image abuse. RPH has provided support for over five years, with caseloads increasing yearly.

In 2020, during the COVID–19 pandemic, caseload increased two-fold. Over five years, RPH supported over 8,000 people and successfully removed nearly 200,000 pieces of illegal content. This report shows that reported cases of intimate image abuse have increased significantly over the last five years.

Intimate image abuse continues to be a gendered issue, with women more likely to come forward as victims. . RPH aims to widen the scope of support for those experiencing intimate image abuse with technological innovations, further advice for sex workers and contributions to the law review being at the forefront of RPH’s work in the future.

Top Trends and Statistics

  • Reports to the RPH doubled in 2020 and continue to rise.
  • Cases of sextortion (webcam blackmail) tripled in 2020.
  • Intimate image abuse is predominantly male–perpetrated, accounting for over
  • 76% of cases where the perpetrators’ gender is known.
  • When a female reports images to the Helpline, an average of 42 images are reported, whereas it is less than two for male victims.
  • RPH has removed almost 200,000 intimate images since 2015.
  • RPH is working with the Law Commission on their review of the law on sharing intimate images without consent to improve support for victims.
  • RPH continues to work to improve client support out of hours and provide more support to vulnerable groups such as students, sex workers and those with disabilities.