Online portal helps Australians impacted by image-based abuse
From today, Australians who have had intimate images or videos shared without their consent will be able to access tangible support and advice through an online portal being piloted by the Office of the eSafety Commissioner.
New research released by the eSafety Office reveals a significant number of Australians have experienced image-based abuse with statistics as high as 1 in 5 for women aged 18-45, and 1 in 4 for Indigenous Australians.
“This is a world-first government-led initiative, empowering Australians who experience this insidious form of abuse with practical information and a range of options to help resolve their situation and relieve their distress,” says eSafety Commissioner Julie Inman Grant.
The research shows victims’ intimate images were most commonly shared without consent on popular social media sites. Facebook/Messenger accounted for 53%, followed by Snapchat at 11% and then Instagram at 4%. Text messaging and MMS were other common channels for distribution.
“Australians will be able to report intimate images or videos that have been shared without their consent directly through to our portal. We will work with social media providers, websites and search engines to help facilitate the removal of the image-based abuse,” says Ms Inman Grant.
While the research revealed that image-based abuse had severe impacts on victims’ mental health and physical wellbeing, only one in four took action to resolve the issue, with 22 per cent indicating they didn’t know what to do.
“Our portal now gives victims a place to seek assistance. Understanding that Australians reporting to us are likely to be in distress, the portal provides clear and concise information about the steps victims can take to reduce the impact of the abuse, in an easy and intuitive way,” says Ms Inman Grant.
“During this pilot phase we plan to work closely with victims of image-based abuse and stakeholders, to help us ascertain the volume and complexity of reports and to inform the final features of our portal which will formally launch in early 2018,” adds Ms Inman Grant.
Your Digital File, CEO, Jamie Wilson said, “storing and sharing intimate images in a safe and secure environment is critical and Your Digital File is pleased to offer all users a $1 per month, personal account with up to 200MB of data to store and share private and confidential data. This allows for the storage of confidential images, contracts and personal information to be stored and shared carefully in a world class secure environment. ”
We strongly encourage parents to set up accounts with their children, not matter how diligent we are as parents, there are things that our kids need to be aware of to protect themselves. Unfortunately, we cannot be by their sides 100% of the time, but we can give them some tools and lessons to keep them safe. YDF is a world class platform, with patents awarded in Australia, New Zealand and soon the US. We have a strong and innovative encryption which means that not even YDF can see your files”, Mr Wilson added.
Your Digital File has recently partnered up with the Federal Government Initiative “staysafeonline” and strongly encourages people to participate in digitally safe activities to protect people at home, at the office, and on mobile devices to be diligent and safe.
To create your own personal account, please visit – www.yourdigitalfile.com.au . You can be assured of a safe and secure location to share your personal images, data and files with those you trust.
For more information please visit: www.esafety.gov.au/imagebasedabuse