Online Violence: 30 Women Have Reported Revenge Pornography so Far

Total Croatia News

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“Revenge porn is a term that is commonly used in public and the media and relates to the abuse of recordings of sexually explicit content and is in fact an attack on someone’s privacy and causes extremely difficult repercussions for the victim. Our legislature recently recognised and defined this crime in the penal code which we consider to be positive progress,” said Dean Šarčević from the B.a.B.e NGO and the coordinator of the Surf and Sound project.

He explained that based on the latest amendments of the Penal Code which entered into force last July, perpetrators can be sentenced to one year in jail if the recordings were made available to one other person. If recordings are shown to more people then the sentence could be up to to three years in prison. Šarčević noted that revenge porn is the most frequent form of online violence against women however other forms of online violence need to be taken notice of too, as they are not sufficiently recognised yet.

“The Surf and Sound project has existed since Mach 2021 and has launched specialised counselling for victims of online violence and so far we’ve had 50 reports of violence and 68% of them refer to abuse of recordings with sexually explicit content. More precisely, 30 women have come to us so far regarding this form of violence,” said Šarčević. He added that this was just the tip of the iceberg because according to research, only four percent of cases of online violence are reported.

“As far as the number of reports is concerned, 64% of the victims did not report the violence to the police nor file charges against the perpetrators. There are many reasons for this, primarily because of the victim’s position in the narrower and broader context – family and surroundings where they are often judged and shamed while the perpetrator usually doesn’t experience any social damage.” Victims aren’t encouraged to report these cases.

However, he underscored the amendments to the Penal Code clearly identify who the victim and who the perpetrator is and we have seen changes in society about the notion of that form of online violence.

Victims more apt to report violence

“We’ve noticed that there is less social condemnation and shaming of the victims even though we need to work on raising awareness. Victims are more apt to report violence and institutions are reacting, primarily the police and State Attorney, which should be commended,” Šarčević underscored. He added that in addition to providing legal and psychological assistance to victims, they follow a certain number of cases regarding revenge porn that have been brought before the courts.

“There are about a dozen cases before the courts and the new law that foresees sentences of up to three years has resulted in two rulings which haven’t been made public yet,” Šarčević said.

For more, check out our politics section.


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