Cyber Sexual Abuse: Debunking Revenge Porn Myths

“What’s a unique hallmark for these survivors is that their photos could still be disseminating online, while they wait three years for their court date.”

Check out a resource and support website created out of Rachel's research!

Before we discuss “revenge porn”, and why this is only a small piece of cyber abuse, we need to understand that consent with all parties involved needs to be present before we “sext” or send sexual imagery, videos, or texts. This is okay, but what is not okay, is then taking that image and sending it to others.


“Revenge Porn” Researcher, Rachel Adler MPH joins Inspire Intimacy to dispel some the myths of this horrific form of sexual violence. She is a Research Associate out of CUNY School of Public Health & Health Policy, and does Sexual Health Training Development and Facilitation. Rachel notes that roughly 80% of North Americans have sent a sext to someone, but what is common with all of this is consent. She acknowledges that researchers, educators, and support folks are shifting out of the term “Revenge Porn” and into “Non-Consensual Image Sharing” because revenge porn implies that the survivor must have done something wrong, and not all cases involve a relationship, anger, or jealousy. Non-consensual image sharing is a more inclusive term of the realities that survivors are facing.

1 in 25 people have had their image shared without their permission.

Tune into this episode to learn more about supports for survivors, the difficulties that they experience in the criminal justice system, and how they navigate internal and external stigma of their image being shared without their permission.


Connect with Rachel over email at sexisjustthetip@gmail.com

Or Instagram

Support website here


It is always illegal for an adult to produce, access, distribute, or be in possession of images of child sexual abuse or sexually explicit images of someone under the age of 18. If you suspect a child is being exploited for sexual images, call the child abuse hotline at 1.800.387.KIDS (5437). If a child or youth is being pressured or manipulated into sharing sexual images online reports of this abuse can be made anonymously at Canada’s National Tip Line for Reporting the Online Sexual Exploitation of Children.

If a youth under the age of 18 is voluntarily consenting to exchange intimate photos with a peer this is not considered child pornography*. Youth can only get charged with child pornography if photos have been obtained through emotional manipulation or if the distribution of the photos has been malicious.


*Though “child pornography” is the legally accurate term to use at this time, we recognize the problematic nature of this term; the word “pornography” suggests consent or that the behaviour isn’t abusive. Instead, we prefer to use terms such as “images of child sexual abuse” or “child sexual abuse material” to make it clear that sexual images of children are child sexual abuse.

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