Nearly 10 million Americans are victims of revenge porn, study finds

Just over two years ago, Jennifer Lawrence, Kate Upton and many other actresses found their private images had been stolen and posted on the Internet for all to see.

While that stood as a high-profile case, men and women alike are victims of revenge porn much more often than you might think.

About one in 25 Americans are either threatened with or victims of nonconsensual image sharing, or “revenge porn” as it’s more commonly known. That equates to roughly 10 million Americans, according to a study published by the Data & Society Research Institute.

These numbers were found as part of a larger study, which showed that 47% of Americans were victims of online harassment.

“When we started the study, we wondered whether we would have anybody who said yes to that question,” Amanda Lenhart, research lead for the study, told Business Insider in an interview. “We figured it would be a relatively low incident thing, but it turns out that it actually really happens.”

The numbers also show that women under 30, minorities, and members of the LGBTQ community are much more likely to be threatened with revenge porn than men. That said, when it comes to having their pictures actually posted online, the numbers are much more equal across the board.

“There’s been some suggestion that in fact men are victims and we just don’t talk about them,” Lenhart said. “That’s one of the things that we think is important in this report, it’s not just women that have these images posted it’s men as well.”

It’s also important to understand that each case is different. Sometimes pictures are posted by a scorned lover while other times, like in the case of celebrities, the victims’ accounts were hacked into and they do not even know their perpetrator. Whatever the reason, this statistic stands as a continued reminder to be careful what you post and share online. You never know who has access to it.

You can learn more about the study here.

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