Image-Based Sexual Abuse: A Feminist Criminological Approach

  • Nicola HenryEmail author
  • Asher Flynn
Reference work entry


Contemporary digital society and culture can be characterized by an obsession with both the visual artifact and object. This is evidenced through contemporary voyeurism trends, such as reality television, live streaming, amateur pornography, as well as an increasing demand for “real” or “authentic” visual representations. In addition and related to these contemporary social trends, there is a continual shifting public/private divide, an ongoing fixation on bodies, particularly feminized bodies, as well as pre-existing structural inequalities on the basis of gender, race, sexuality, class, age, and ability. This complex interplay of social, cultural, and technological factors provides the contextual backdrop to understanding the prevalence, nature, and perpetration related to the taking and sharing non-consensual nude or sexual imagery – also known as image-based sexual abuse (IBSA). Further to structural factors underlying IBSA, it is also important to address the performativity of gender and subjectivity in understanding this phenomenon and thereby contribute to more informed responses and prevention interventions. In this chapter, we utilize feminist criminological theory for understanding the complex interplay of individual and structural causes of IBSA.


Image-based sexual abuse Technology-faciliated abuse Revenge pornography Nonconsensual pornography 


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© The Author(s) 2020

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.RMIT UniversityMelbourneAustralia
  2. 2.Monash UniversityClaytonAustralia

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