New documentary investigates ‘revenge porn’ problem

Published: 4 June 2018 at 12:00

Dr Tanya Horeck

Anglia Ruskin’s Dr Tanya Horeck shares her expertise in ‘Love, lies and nudes’ film

A revealing new documentary, which has gone live online today, seeks to uncover the true extent of the impact of so-called ‘revenge porn’ in the UK.

A joint project by youth specialist creative network Livity and Anglia Ruskin University, which is a specialist in digital violence, the film, entitled ‘Love, lies and nudes’, takes a fresh approach to the topic, putting forward the notion that terminology such as ‘revenge porn’ can be harmful, and exploring the breadth of incidences that now fall under the remit of ‘image-based sexual abuse’.


The documentary comes shortly after Facebook’s announcement that it has asked British users to send naked photos of themselves to the social network in an attempt to stop ‘revenge porn’, and as the National Crime Agency (NCA) reports a rise in cases of the sextortion.

In the film, presenter Capital Radio Xtra DJ Yinka Bokinni interviews victims of abuse, as well as leading professionals from Anglia Ruskin University and founders of support organisations, such as VOIC (Victims of Internet Crime).

Dr Tanya Horeck, academic in film, media and culture at Anglia Ruskin University who is interviewed in the film, reveals shocking statistics, saying:

“Anyone can be a victim of so-called ‘revenge porn’ or image-based sexual abuse, although it is a gendered crime and the majority of victims do tend to be women…95%.

“The term ‘revenge porn’ is actually quite problematic. First of all, the notion of porn has certain connotations…that are not very helpful; second of all, the idea of  ‘revenge’ is equally problematic because when you use the term revenge it seems to suggest that the victims are somehow responsible.” 

When asked by Yinka if the internet can also be a tool of resistance, she continues:

“Yes – at the same time digital technology provides feminists, girls, women with the tools to fight back against this kind of misogynistic violence.”

She cites the rise of hashtag activism, such as #metoo, as useful movements for empowering women.

The film, which has been directed by award-winning former VICE director Jade Jackman, whose work on feminist and youth issues has appeared in publications such as Nylon and Vanity Fair, has gone live on Anglia Ruskin’s website today https://www.anglia.ac.uk/study/explore-aru/love-lies-and-nudes.