CrimProf Blog

Editor: Kevin Cole
Univ. of San Diego School of Law

Wednesday, March 15, 2023

Rigotti & McGlynn on Image-Based Sexual Abuse

Carlotta Rigotti and Professor Clare McGlynn (Vrije Universiteit Brussel (VUB) - Department of Criminology and Durham Law School, Durham University) have posted Towards an EU criminal law on violence against women: The ambitions and limitations of the Commission’s proposal to criminalise image-based sexual abuse (New Journal of European Criminal Law IJECL 2022, Vol. 0(0), 1-26) on SSRN. Here is the abstract:
In March 2022, the European Commission proposed a new landmark Directive on combating violence against women and domestic violence which includes measures on the non-consensual distribution of intimate and manipulated images. We refer to this form of violence against women as ‘image-based sexual abuse’, a term that encompasses all forms of the non-consensual creating, taking or sharing of intimate images or videos, including threats to share such material and altered material. In this article, we provide a new analysis of current Member State laws covering all forms of image-based sexual abuse, as well as the first detailed examination of the Commission’s proposals to tackle this form of violence against women. We suggest that the Commission’s proposal is characterised by both its ambition and limitations. It is ambitious in its attempts to set minimum rules in challenging areas of criminal law and, in doing so, recognises the serious harms of image-based sexual abuse. At the same time, by seeking to expand the reach of EU criminal law, inevitably requiring compromise, the scope of the proposed measures is somewhat limited. Such compromises and limitations risk entrenching hierarchies between different forms of abuse and, ultimately, the proposal fails to provide a comprehensive response reflective of victims’ experiences.

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