Everyday Victim Blaming

challenging institutional disbelief around domestic & sexual violence and abuse

Just another example – in Australia – relating to revenge porn & classic victim blaming

A link to this article on a so-called "revenge porn" inquiry in Australia was submitted to our site. We don't use the term "revenge porn" as it implies that people who release intimate images videos without consent are entitled to 'revenge'. The release of these images is sexualised violence. There is NOTHING that a victim does that entitles another person to get "revenge" through sexualised violence. Equally, we dislike the use of the term 'porn' here as it erases not just the perpetrator who chose to release but the fact that every single person who chose to access the images also perpetrated sexual assault. The release of intimate images requires an audience if consumers willing to view the images knowing it is sexualised violence. Without an audience of willing perpetrators, abusive men would not have a threat that could be used to control a current or former partner. We need to be clear that both the person who released the images and those who choose to consume are perpetrators.

This is the title of the article:

'Grow up' and stop taking naked photos of yourself, police tell revenge porn inquiry

These are the full statements made by Australian federal police assistant commissioner Shane Connelly:

“People just have to grow up in terms of what they’re taking and loading on to the computer because the risk is so high,”  ...

Asked if he was victim-blaming, Connelly said he was not implying that but “wicked” people would always take advantage of the naive, and it was the same for revenge porn, cyber-crime or online child abuse.

“[They say] if you go out in the snow without clothes on you’ll catch a cold – if you go on to the computer without your clothes on, you’ll catch a virus,” he said.

“It’s a wicked analogy but it’s pretty realistic.”

Clearly, this is victim blaming language as it holds victims responsible for the actions of a perpetrator. It also ignores images and videos who are the product of coercive relationship and those taken without consent (the so-called Paris Hilton 'sex' tape being a case in point).

As the article makes clear, we won't end sexualised violence jut through the criminal justice system. We need mandatory sex and healthy relationships education in schools which deal with sexualised violence. We also need better trained police officers who can differentiate between a victim and a perpetrator.

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