Danish Safer Internet Centre focuses on image sharing without consent
- Danish Safer Internet Centre
"The victim is never to blame" – this was the conclusion from an agreeing panel when the Me-dia Council for Children and Young People, Centre for Digital Youth Care and Save the Children Denmark marked the launch of a new book and project on image sharing without consent.
On Wednesday, 9 October, 2019, 60 guests from various organisations and authorities participated in the launch of the book "DELT – En bog til unge om digitale sexkrænkelser" (meaning "SHARED – A book for young people about online sexual harassments" in Danish).
The launch took place at Cinemateket in Copenhagen and partially consisted of a panel debate on how to prevent sharing of intimate images without the consent of those exposed in the image. There was a distinct agreement among the panel that young people should not avoid taking and sending images of themselves, as this is a natural way of communicating for them.
Instead, there is a need to establish a culture of respect for personal boundaries. In addition, it must be determined that it should not be acceptable to share images or videos without the consent of those represented as it could have significant personal consequences for them.
Sharing images without consent: a serious matter
Aside from moderating the debate, the author of the book, Milla Mølgaard, told the audience about the importance of placing this topic in the spotlight, and she expressed her gratitude for those indi-viduals that contributed to the book with their personal stories. Among those was Simone, who took part in the panel discussion at the launch event.
At the age of 17, Simone had her intimate images shared without her consent. At the launch, she told the panel and the audience about the consequences of this episode and how she has dealt with a range of personal issues after her private images were shared.
Thanks to her courage to stand up and tell her story, Simone received great acknowledgement from the rest of the panel, which consisted of Christian Mogensen, lecturer and senior consultant at the Centre for Digital Youth Care, and Lina Sjögren, psychologist at Save the Children Denmark.
Lina Sjögren pointed out that online sexual harassment could potentially have consequences similar to physical offences and assaults. The victim's emotion of guilt and shame from having an intimate and private material as a nude image shared without consent could lead to anxiety, social isolation and PTSD.
There is no expiration date for online sexual harassment, as there could always be someone with a copy of the intimate material, and there is no guarantee whether they will share it or not, Lina Sjögren said.
Education and courses on image sharing without consent
In the same panel discussion, the chairperson of the Media Council, Stine Liv Johansen, said that adults should recognise and accept that sending images is a way for young people to express emo-tions, engagement and relations while communicating with each other.
According to Stine Liv Johansen, it is important that adults acknowledge, understand and show interests in the media culture of young people if they want to help stopping the problem. Knowledge and dialogue is the way forward.
Parents, teachers and people working in youth crime prevention are all encouraged to read the book to become able to talk with their young relatives about this sensitive and difficult topic. By doing that, it may become easier to prevent online sexual harassment.
The event was concluded by Media Council project manager, Lisbeth Brunebjerg Holmegaard, who explained how the book is part of a larger project targeting secondary schools with teaching material and courses for teachers, youth crime prevention workers and other childcare professionals.
The courses are taking place in the spring of 2020 and the dates will be published shortly. Tryg-Fonden, the Danish Crime Prevention Council and the Connecting Europe Facility fund the project.
Read more about the project on the website of the Media Council.
Find out more information about the work of the Danish Safer Internet Centre (SIC) generally, in-cluding its awareness raising, helpline, hotline and youth participation services on the Better Internet for Kids (BIK) portal, or find similar information for Safer Internet Centres throughout Europe.
- BIK Team
A recent research report, deSHAME, Digital Exploitation and Sexual Harassment Among Minors in Europe, found that 8 per cent of 13-17 year olds in Denmark, Hungary and the UK had shared nude/nearly nude images of other people that they knew without their permission but 41 per cent had seen people sharing nude/nearly nude images of someone that they knew. Similarly, the research found that 27 per cent had witnessed young people sharing images or videos of someone they know doing sexual acts in the last year.
- Danish Safer Internet Centre
Your digital footprints often seem to be invisible, but what are you really agreeing to when confirming ‘Terms & Conditions' in an app? With the newly proposed General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR), it is as relevant as ever to put the spotlight on the data protection and the digital identity of youth.