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WSIS Forum 2023: Combatting Non Consensual Intimate Image Abuse (NCII) SWGfL Session 187

March 16 @ 09:00 CET

StopNCII.org is a free tool that supports adults who are victims of Non-Consensual Intimate Image (NCII) abuse.

Often referred to in the media as Revenge Porn, NCII is a catastrophic form of abuse that destroys lives (both sharing or the threat to share).

Launched in 2015 by SWGfL, the UK Revenge Porn Helpline has supported over 13,000 NCII victims and of these 4% have expressed some form of suicidal ideation. NCII has a significant gender imbalance. Women are around five times more likely to be victims of intimate image abuse whilst conversely predominantly male–perpetrated.

StopNCII is revolutionary. It is the worlds first ‘device side hashing technology’ that empowers victims to take control of their own images by working with online platforms to both proactively remove these images where they exist online whilst at the same time preventing anyone from posting them onto these platforms.

Combatting Non Consensual Intimate Image Abuse (NCII) – For too long, women and girls have disproportionately been victims of NCII. The workshop will explore the emerging efforts and strategies of different States and International organisations in tackling Violence Against Women and Girls online

The workshop will debate and discuss a range of current and influencing factors from across the world, coupled with a variety of strategies and innovations including
– Victim Blaming. When the photos are leaked without consent, comments such as she should have refrained from sending it or she shouldn’t get naked in front of the camera persist, putting the blame on the girl, without addressing the issue that the person who received it had no right to share it with others. Victims often blame themselves too and girls are more likely than boys to face a negative backlash from both male and female peers if their image is shared.
– Stereotypes: Research has found that gender-based violence is closely linked to power imbalances between women and men and harmful expressions of masculinities (UN Women, 2016). In this regard it is important to look at the roots of gender stereotyping and to understand and raise awareness about the factors influencing such stereotypes which range from cultural traditions, family or domestic practices to broader societal and environmental factors such as the sexual objectification of women and girls in media or advertising.
– National Model Responses: As highlighted above, there are many countries across the world now starting to realise the prevalence of violence against women and girls online. This thread will discuss, highlight and compile examples of existing policy and best practice from those participants.
– Prevention: When someone else shares their intimate images without consent or is threatening to do so, unless they meet specific demands, it can be catastrophic.

David Wright
David is CEO at SWGfL and also Director UK Safer Internet Centre; the national awareness centre and part of the European Insafe network. David has worked extensively in online safety for 20 years with children, schools and wider agencies. He advises a number of Governments, organisations and industry partners on online safety strategy and policy and has been appointed as an expert child online protection adviser to the UN ITU

David has presented at conferences nationally and internationally. He is a member of the UK Council for Internet Safety and has recently been invited to be a member of the World Economic Forum’s Global Coalition for Digital Safety

David has led pioneering work, such as the development of multi award winning resources, as well as the establishment of the helpline for victims of Revenge Porn and stopncii.org. With Plymouth University, he has published a number of ground-breaking research reports.

Zara Ward
Senior Helpline Practitioner
SWGfL / Revenge Porn Helpline
Zara Ward has been working in the area of intimate image abuse for over four years. She is a senior practitioner at the Revenge Porn Helpline at the South West grid for Learning in which she supervises the Helpline, and works on projects relating to data and technology; with a key focus in designing supportive technologies to improve the work in this field. She has supported with the design and maintenance of StopNCII.org, the world’s first device side hashing technology for intimate images.

As Zara has a background in social sciences research, she helms the RPH annual report, which is lauded by stakeholders, government and industry. She also promotes the service and raises awareness in a variety of online issues through different media appearances, research and conferences.

In addition to this work Zara is also a mental health mentor for university students with ongoing mental health issues.

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