Revenge porn rising among young Aussies

The number of young Australians falling victim to revenge porn has risen significantly in the past year, with reports of image-based abuse nearly doubling.

The eSafety Commissioner fielded more than 1000 reports of image-based abuse in the first quarter of 2022, up by about 400 on the same period the previous year.

Of the new reports, more than 60 per cent, or nearly 670, came from people aged 13 to 24. That was compared with fewer than 370 in the same age group during the corresponding period in 2021.

The rise in abuse has prompted authorities to look at new ways to engage gen Z, who might be hesitant to report revenge porn due to shame or embarrassment.

The eSafety Commissioner is working with six gen Z “creatives” to roll out a new campaign, dubbed “SCROLL”, to let young people know what they can do when things go wrong online.

The campaign will run across TikTok, Instagram, and YouTube, and it’s hoped having young people lead it will mean they are more receptive to the message.

“At its heart, it’s about empowering teenagers to get the help they need to stay safe online, so they can keep doing all the things they love and reduce their risk of being abused, harassed or groomed for the purpose of sexual exploitation or extortion,” eSafety Commissioner Julie Inman Grant said.

Along with revenge porn, the campaign will deal with issues like cyberbullying and online consent.

A survey of 3500 young people in 2021 found more than 70 per cent of 14- to 17-year-olds saw sexual images in the past year, and nearly half had received sexual messages from someone.

Nearly half of children aged eight to 17 were treated in a hurtful or nasty way online in the past year.

Cassandra Morgan
(Australian Associated Press)

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