Beyond ‘Revenge Porn’: The Continuum of Image-Based Sexual Abuse

Posted: 11 Mar 2017

See all articles by Clare McGlynn

Clare McGlynn

Durham Law School, Durham University

Erika Rackley

Durham University - Law School

Ruth Houghton

Durham Law School

Date Written: March 8, 2017

Abstract

In the last few years, many countries have introduced laws combating the phenomenon colloquially known as ‘revenge porn’. While new laws criminalising this practice represent a positive step forwards, the legislative response has been piecemeal and typically focuses only on the practices of vengeful ex-partners. Drawing on Liz Kelly’s (1988) pioneering work, we suggest that ‘revenge porn’ should be understood as just one form of a range of gendered, sexualised forms of abuse which have common characteristics, forming what we are conceptualising as the ‘continuum of image-based sexual abuse’. Further, we argue that image-based sexual abuse is on a continuum with other forms of sexual violence. We suggest that this twin approach may enable a more comprehensive legislative and policy response that, in turn, will better reflect the harms to victim-survivors and leads to more appropriate and effective educative and preventative strategies.

Keywords: revenge pornography; non-consensual pornography; continuum of sexual violence; image-based sexual abuse

Suggested Citation

McGlynn, Clare M. S. and Rackley, Erika and Houghton, Ruth, Beyond ‘Revenge Porn’: The Continuum of Image-Based Sexual Abuse (March 8, 2017). Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2929257

Clare M. S. McGlynn (Contact Author)

Durham Law School, Durham University ( email )

Durham University
Palatine Centre
Durham, County Durham DH1 3LE
United Kingdom
0191 334 2800 (Phone)

HOME PAGE: http://www.dur.ac.uk/law/staff/stafflist/?id=429

Erika Rackley

Durham University - Law School ( email )

50 North Bailey
Palatine Centre
Durham, County Durham DH1 3ET
United Kingdom

Ruth Houghton

Durham Law School

Palatine Centre
Durham, Durham DH1 3LE
United Kingdom

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