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Table 2 Adult RS-IBSA crime intervention points

From: Crime script analysis for adult image-based sexual abuse: a study of crime intervention points for retribution-style offenders

Script stages Manager-place Guardian-target Handler-offender
1. Offender- victim and prehistory   Establish clear boundaries
General education regarding IBSA and potentially risky circumstances (i.e., reputational damage, psychological and physical harm)
Understanding both partners’ attitudes and perceptions about IBSA will bring more awareness in the event of any ‘triggers’ (e.g., break-ups, fights, saying “No”), online and physical privacy and respect for consent
Be aware that changes in the relationship (e.g., rejection, break-ups) may influence partners’ actions and potentially alter dynamics and safety around them
Be aware that gateway offences to IBSA (e.g., intimate covert filming and blackmail) are more latent
Be aware that offending does not always occur immediately after a break-up
Be aware that repeat victimisation and offending occurs more easily on the internet (i.e., images disclosed on the internet could resurface in future)
Public awareness of IBSA (issues around online and offline privacy, consent, intentional non-consent and potential contexts: e.g., break-ups, refusal to get back together, infidelity, new partner) (Barmore 2015; Gissell 2015; Salter and Crofts 2015)
Pre-establish boundaries, discuss boundaries, discuss concepts regarding IBSA perceptions, definitions, acceptable and non-acceptable behaviours, possible scenarios relating to consent and respect for online and offline privacy (Dawkins 2015)
2. Setting offline and online Social media sites testing tools to help people manage how they interact with former partners on social media after a relationship
Online platforms and intermediaries specialising in providing practical support to IBSA victims
Online platforms increasing technical controls against potential IBSA
Monitor offline and cyberstalking behaviours, verbal abuse on social media
Check on female (e.g., “How is ex responding to new male friend?”), signs of blackmail (e.g., abuser demanding sexual favours in exchange of non-disclosure) and other coercive control techniques (e.g., cutting off social support or financial support for child)
If socio-cultural minority, check for signs of blackmail, verbal threats (e.g., threats to “out” victim or inform victim that law enforcement/ intermediaries would not help them due to their socio-cultural orientation)
Presence of friends/family can act as handlers
Law enforcement’s online and offline presence and efforts against IBSA
3. Instrumental actualisation Have guardians present in location/at risk sites (social media) and moderators to maintain a strong and continued online presence
Prompts to log out of social media when not in use
If in direct contact with abuser, do not provide positive reinforcement and discourage IBSA
Alert victim immediately of the risk
If there is a high risk of disclosure, support victim to contact intermediary for additional advice and practical support for “potential” takedown requests and future actions.
If aware of the content of the images and the platforms that will be used in the disclosure, support the victim in reporting this possibility to the respective platforms
Increase public awareness in terms of guardianship and the role and practices required by encouraging people to actively look out for each other and identify circumstances in which men and women may be vulnerable
4. Offender approach method Having general security and privacy settings in place
Having reporting and flagging of images protocols in place
Information Service Providers (ISPs) and Social Media organisations should recalibrate anonymity standards to deter “anonymous” IBSA using the same tools and collaborative techniques they are utilising to fight terrorism
Education regarding common coercive control strategies (e.g., blackmail and threats) and ways to respond safely and effectively
Education and encouragement against peer pressure and to develop resilience
Education on online and physical safety—fully utilising general security and privacy settings on mobile devices and mobile apps to protect against physical level threats (Imgraben et al. 2014) (e.g., two-step authentication to access phone, logging out of social media apps and e-mail accounts when not in use, storing intimate images in ”hard-to-reach” folders that are encrypted with strong passwords, not disclosing passwords to partners, disabling automatic password saving functions and location settings, not allowing anyone to physically handle or use your mobile device without your supervision, if you have intimate images, never capture identifying features/backgrounds- face, tattoos etc.) being careful to delete all intimate images (including Cloud back-ups) when sending phones for repair, trading-ins or disposing of them
How to report and flag images
Remove excuses- general education on severe “privacy” and “trust” violations in relation to intimate partner violence and IBSA (e.g., “not knowing it is abuse” or “just for fun”) (Albury and Crawford 2012; Powell 2010; Salter and Crofts 2015)
International legal harmonisation (e.g., the criminalising of IBSA and EU’s ‘The Right to Be Forgotten’)
Intermediaries maintaining close ties with online platforms
Law enforcement alerting public that there are convictions and incarcerations for IBSA
5. Continuation Domestic intermediaries’ and information service providers’ ability to take immediate action on takedown requests and combat IBSA Support victim in maintaining a positive online presence Remove excuses-widespread messages against intimate partner violence and family violence and offences through digital communications technologies
IBSA is committed by those who have complete disregard for consent and online and offline privacy
IBSA is a domestic (sexual) violence offence and a communications offence (Bloom 2014)
Alerting the public to the potential criminal consequences of doxing (online disclosure of a victim’s personal details such as the victim’s full name, e-mail address, residential address, designation and place of employment or mobile number) multiplies risk to a victim’s personal and online safety (i.e., possible identity theft, in-the-flesh and online stalking and harassment)
6. Interaction and crime completion Online platforms to regularly prompt users to maximise use of security and privacy settings
Have effective avenues for IBSA victims to report their victimisation and flag new intimate images that surface or resurface
Support victim with personal online safety strategies (e.g., disable settings for location and friends tagging you in photos and checking you into places, control visibility)
Support victim with information on how to flag and report images
7. Post-action Assist intermediaries and law enforcement with criminal investigations Do not download, consume for personal pleasure or distribute intimate images of victim
Do not inform anyone else where to find the images and the contents of the images
If others have encountered and threaten to circulate the victim’s images, inform them that they might be interfering with police investigations and risk incriminating themselves in the process
Support victim with creating a digital evidence folder (documenting dates for online disclosure and victim finding out, URLs, screen names and usernames, taking screenshots and downloading copies of images from website, reporting abuse to the online platforms and flagging abusive content)
Supporting the victim with monitoring new content through Google reverse image searches for image file names, victim’s phone number, name or other words or usernames associated with victim’s images
Supporting victim with setting up a Google Alert to notify victim of new content about victim that needs to be removed
Education regarding victim blaming, slut shaming by law enforcement and intermediaries: Sexting is a safety issue and not a moral issue (Slane 2013)
8. Exit Keep digital evidence intact
Monitor repeat offending on same account or new accounts with similar image-based abusive patterns
Encourage victim not to delete personal social media account (doing so would make it harder to push negative content off top search pages of internet search engines)
Assist victim with creating new positive content on highly indexed pages
Establishing emotional support hotlines for victims
Education for friends and family regarding victim support
Encourage reporting
Continue to support victim in maintaining a positive online presence