Men Are Trading Nudes Of Women They Know Online Like Football Cards

Reddit posts are offering up women's nudes for 'trade' - pictures of their wives, girlfriends and housemates.

Collector culture

by Lydia Spencer-Elliott |

Her face is cropped out as if she always suspected her nudes might be shared. With her bra pulled down beneath her nipples, the woman sits on her bed and pulls down the band of her maroon gym shorts with her thumb. ‘Sharing girlfriend’s nudes!’ the caption tells the forum’s thousands of followers without an echo of shame.

This is just one of endless Reddit posts that offers women’s nudes up for ‘trade’ as if they’re football cards in a playground. As you scroll through the site, full frontal photos of men’s wives, girlfriends and roommates are plastered across forums, with Kik and Telegram contact details attached with a promise of further trading.

Some use Dropbox, some use Snapchat, some use the file storage service Mega. But wherever you look, men are sharing women’s naked bodies without their consent.‘My god you’re so lucky bro Jesus,’ one poster congratulates another.

Horrifyingly, one in five men have shared nudes of women they know online according to the Revenge Porn Helpline. Known as ‘collector culture’, women’s nudes, names and locations have been categorised and shared on websites like AnonIB, which was briefly shut down but has since re-emerged under a Russian domain.

In the eyes of the law, collector culture can be categorised as Image Based Sexual Abuse (IBSA) and falls under Section 33 of the 2015 Criminal Justice and Courts Act, which makes it illegal to disclose ‘private sexual photos and films with intent to cause distress’.

But experts have warned that this is insufficient to help women whose photos have been shared online in the hope they’d never find out because there’s no clear ‘intent to cause distress’, despite psychologists and campaigners stating that women have suffered PTSD, anxiety and suicide attempts because of collector culture.

‘Currently, there is no single criminal offence in England and Wales that governs the taking, making and sharing of intimate images without consent,’ The Law Commission, who are reviewing the existing laws around sharing explicit images, explained. ‘Instead, we have a patchwork of offences that have developed over time, most of which existed before the rise of the internet and use of smartphones.’

But the terrifying and inconvenient truth is, whether the legislation has caught up or not, men are using online forums and personal Whatsapp groups to trade and collect women’s nudes— And it’s not just bitter exes, but the men we love and trust the most.

‘I felt sick to my stomach, angry, disappointed, numb all at once because I was in disbelief that my own partner would betray my trust like this,’ wrote one Reddit user whose boyfriend had shared her nudes without her consent.

‘I found 20+ conversations with random strangers and all of them involved him sharing nude photos and videos I sent to him in private,’ said another woman who’d been with her boyfriend for five years.

‘I feel so violated,’ wrote another victim. ‘Is this even illegal? Like where do I go from here.’

If your intimate images have been shared and you need advice or help, call the Revenge Porn Helpline on 0345 6000 459 from 10am and 4pm, Tuesday to Thursday. Or, you can email help@revengepornhelpline.org.uk****.

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