The stories from our sex survey paint a bleak picture of revenge porn awareness

14 per cent believe that if your nudes are leaked it’s your own fault for sending them


On the surface, the incredibly low figures of those who have been victims of revenge porn is encouraging. Only three per cent of the women who responded to babe’s sexual attitudes survey reported being victims of the crime, while a slightly higher nine per cent had ever been threatened with it.

You could take away from it that our societal crackdown on revenge porn is working. It was made a criminal offence punishable by up to two years in prison last April in England and Wales, and by September 2016 there had been over 200 successful prosecutions (albeit out of 1,000 reports in the same period). Government ministers now take it so seriously that they’ve proposed victims of revenge porn should be granted the same rights to anonymity as victims of rape and other sexual offences.

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So in theory, we’re good. We know more and we’re harsher and it’s working – very few of us have fallen victim to the crime. The stats are all there, but anecdotally, there’s something else going on. Because a significant amount of the women who answered our survey left responses that showed they may have experienced revenge porn, but they just weren’t sure.

The “I don’t know what this means”, “does this count” or “I’m not sure” messages were in double figures. And a worrying amount left anecdotes blaming themselves for having naked pictures or videos leaked – or blaming other girls for the same mistake, while mentioning that they would only ever send “unidentifiable” pictures to people they trust.

Almost 1,000 women said they believe that if nudes are leaked then it’s your own fault for sending them.

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It’s easy to sound off about that minority, to say they’re stupid or don’t understand the issue, but really all it proves is that we need more awareness of revenge porn. Until people understand what it is and why it’s a crime we’re treating so harshly, they’ll continue to blame the victims.

One story read: “I didn’t understand why I was being blamed and they weren’t so I just ignored the whole thing cut them out of my life. Most people who I knew when it happened I cut from my life because I didn’t know how to deal with it.

“It never really stops. Like people stopped talking about it within a month or two but everyone still knows and I know that the video is probably still out there somewhere because there’s no way you can make sure every single copy is deleted.”

Featured image from Alex Zizka via Flickr.