Australian women are being targeted in a sick online forums, where men request and trade images of specific people or women from certain locations.
These “revenge porn” websites play host to thousands of requests from men asking for nude pictures of women from cities and suburbs across the country.
On one site that specifically targets Australian women people ask for “wins” (naked pictures) of women from certain areas, or even ask for pictures of specific women, adding their name and location to the website.
From there, if any other users have pictures of the women requested they will either trade those images in exchange for money, other pictures or just give them out for free.
There are requests for pictures of women from Carins, Newcastle, Forster, Taree, Geelong, Blacktown, Perth and dozens of other places across Australia.
Research from RMIT University found that one in five Australian women have experienced imaged-based abuse at some point in their lives.
The Office of the eSafety Commissioner is one of the Government agencies that are working to combat these types of websites and help the victims image-based abuse.
The eSafety Commissioner Julie Inman Grant told news.com.au that the office receives multiple reports of image-based abuse each day and they work tirelessly to help victims get content removed.
“Where images are reported to us, we contact the site and seek rapid removal of the material,” Ms Inman Grant said.
“This approach has worked with considerable success — resolving over 150 cases this way to date.”
Each state has different laws in regards to image-based abuse, which makes it difficult to actually prosecute the people sharing these images, but Ms Inman Grant said they could soon be given more power to punish perpetrators.
“A proposed civil penalty scheme is currently before federal parliament to strengthen the response to image-based abuse by giving the eSafety Office a range of powers, including the potential to fine individuals and corporations for sharing and hosting image-based abuse material.”
There are a number other organisations that are committed to helping people who have their images shared without their consent.
Brendon McAlpine is an online content removalist for Internet Removals, and works with revenge porn victims to get their images removed from these websites.
“We give people guidance on how to let Google know about the offending sites and content,” he told news.com.au.
“We help people put in applications with Google to get the content taken down and make sure it is done in a way that will get the quickest response.”
But, as many of these sites are often hosted overseas and image-based abuse is a developing area of law in Australia, Mr McAlpine said it can be an “uphill battle” to get content removed.
“Unfortunately nothing is fool proof,” he said.
“The biggest problem is just how many websites there are and it all comes back to the internal workings of these forums.”
If you are worried that your intimate images have been shared online you can visit the eSafety website to report the abuse, find practical information and advice about a range of options they can take.
For more information you can also contact Internet Removals on 1300 039 196.
Company: Internet Removals
Phone: 1300 039 196
Address: Level 3, 130 Bundall Road, Bundall, QLD 4217, Australia