CCRI is collaborating with psychology and human development researchers across the nation on research that advances scientific understandings of nonconsensual porn (NCP). These in-depth qualitative and quantitative investigations of NCP will contribute to basic social science research by developing a framework for studying and understanding the phenomenon of NCP, including situating it relative to other forms of control and abuse. They will provide crucial data to help CCRI develop evidence-based legal and technological solutions to NCP. Finally, they will empower prevention and treatment efforts to reduce the occurrence of NCP and improve outcomes for those affected.
Statistics have been invaluable in CCRI’s push for the criminalization of NCP, not just because they show the need for criminalization but because they help legislators fully understand the crime for which they are crafting laws. For example, the first criminal law that California passed against NCP in 2013 was worded in such a way that it did not protect victims who took the image(s) themselves (‘selfies’). Subsequently, CCRI board and staff called the office of the legislative sponsor (Sen Anthony Cannella) and demanded that the wording be changed so that it would protect all victims, even those whose offending images were selfies. The legislative office refused to change it. CCRI then shared a statistic with them that was achieved in an informal online study: 83% of the NCP victims in the study said their offending images were selfies. This statistic was also shared with popular press outlets, who put pressure on Sen Cannella to strengthen the law. In September 2014, the language of the law was amended to provide protection for selfie cases.
Moving forward, with our Head of Research Dr. Asia Eaton at Florida International University, we are preparing to conduct rigorous empirical research to identify adults’ understandings and definitions of nonconsensual porn and laws against it in the U.S., to estimate the prevalence of NCP perpetration and victimization nation-wide, and to examine the risk factors for and consequences of NCP victimization and perpetration.
Dr. Asia Eaton, Head of Research, Florida International University
Dr. Dionne Stephens, Research Collaborator, Florida International University
Dr. Amy Bonomi, Research Collaborator, Michigan State University
Dr. Tameka Gillum, Research Collaborator, The Sage Colleges