Gender-sensitive Analysis of Image-based Sexual Abuse Crime Response
Type Basic Period 2019
Manager Mi-Hye Chang Date 2020-03-03
Fiie 1.Gender-senstive Analysis of Image-based Sexual Abuse Crime Response.pdf ( 796.48 KB )



Gender-sensitive Analysis of Image-based Sexual Abuse Crime Response


Mi-Hye Chang

Mi-Jeong Lee

Hyeon-Seung Ko

Hyun-Ah Kim

Sung-Hoon Roh


This study aims to identify the distinctiveness of the imagebased sexual abuse incident through a gender-recognition analysis of the investigation and prosecution process of the illegal shooting case, and to draw out practical policy implications by reflecting the voice at the actual scene. The form of gender violence in the digital age is transforming in a completely different way from the previous one. Unlike previous violence, damage persists beyond the limits of time and space, and the past damage experience is not disjointed but rather reproduced in the present online space. Through this process, victims continue to suffer from mental anxiety, trauma and social isolation. Due to this distinctive nature of digital sexual violence, it is necessary to analyze the cases from different perspective from the existing gender violence.


This following research conducted in-depth interviews with victims, public defenders, and investigators in charge of the case. It analyzed the experiences of image-based sexual abuse victims in the process of punishment of the perpetrator after reporting the victim from the illegal photographing stage. It also analyzed the investigation process and limitations experienced by the investigator in charge of the case from a gender-based perspective. The paper further identified the problems that occurred at each stage of the image-based sexual abuse incident and provided the necessary policy implications in the future.


As a result of the study, the following areas need to be improved in the investigation process: first, in the current investigation system, victims report to the investigative agency to monitor the damage video. If the investigator is a male, the victim complains of feeling repulsion and shame. To minimize this, a policy should be revised by designating a separate person in charge of monitoring the video and prevent others from watching the same video.


Secondly, victims may have secondary damages by authoritative attitudes and inappropriate questions in the process of police and prosecution investigation. Therefore, strengthening job training for investigative agencies is required. Thirdly, female investigator in charge of the case needs to be expanded to relieve the burden on the existing female investigator. In addition, there is a need for sufficient exchange of opinions and enhanced cooperation among both male and female investigators regarding the specific contents of the case. Fourth, education is needed to increase the expertise of investigators. Interviews of investigators confirmed that due to the nature of the image-based sexual abuse crimes, it is essential to obtain evidence to prove the charges. However, proper action is not taken in the reality and the research figured out that the problems sometimes occur in the investigation phase. In order to resolve this, a detailed set of procedures and guidelines should be arranged, and the standard research model needs to be improved based on the reality of investigation.


The areas that need improvement in the prosecution and punishment stages of image-based sexual abuse cases are as follows; first, as the sentencing of the crime varies from case to case and various illegal components are also intertwined, it is necessary to establish a standard of determining punishment that reflects the characteristics of the case. Second, there is a problem that the victims suffer secondary damages by the mediator in the criminal mediation process. With regard to this, there needs to be a policy consideration for customized educational programs, such as requesting specific qualifications as coordinators or providing step-by-step training. Third, especially for those image-based abuse crimes, the scope of evidence is likely to be on the perpetrator’s side, thus it is difficult for the victim to know the existence or distribution of the photographs. Therefore, active confiscation and search by the investigative agencies are necessary. Moreover, when there has been a threat of photographs dissemination, the victims are most likely feared and exposed to possible crime. In this case, the same measure such as an active confiscation and search should be done. Lastly, victims may expose to secondary damage by the media and by their acquaintances in the process of having agreement, but there were not many cases where victims actively go through legal procedures. In this regard, secondary damage can be reduced if the court reflects the occurrence and extent of secondary damage in the determination of punishment. In particular, if there was an agreement, the court needs to look into the process in detail. Some victims are forced to agree due to the perpetrator’s unreasonable demands for an agreement, pressure from acquaintances, and fear of retaliation. Thus, if the perpetrator continues to try to reach an agreement with the victim, even though the victim clearly indicated that she or he didn't want to agree, the court needs to consider this as secondary damage and reflect when in the determination of punishment.


Key words: digital sexual abuse, image-based sexual abuse, technologyfacilitated sexual violence, online gender-based violence, cyber sexual violence