Authored by Andrea Powell, Director of The Reclaim Coalition and Bradley Myles, Senior Advisor, Innovation, at Panorama Global
Panorama Global recently released a report on the issue of image-based sexual abuse. For those who are new to this emerging field, what can you tell us about it?
Panorama Global is a social impact nonprofit that empowers changemakers through radical collaboration. We build platforms for collaboration across issues and sectors to maximize collective impact on pressing global challenges. Currently, Panorama Global sponsors, hosts, or fully implements more than 60 social change initiatives across 20 different issue areas.
One of Panorama’s strengths is drawing attention to new and emerging issue areas and serving as an issue catalyst for topics that we believe would benefit from increased attention, funding, political will, and field-building. We believe that change happens when the right group of stakeholders comes together to collectively determine that a problem needs to be solved, but it is only when we work together that real change can take hold. In our analysis, image-based sexual violence (IBSV) is an issue ripe for progress and ready for a significant influx of resources and targeted action.
Image-based sexual violence is the threat or act of creating and sharing intimate images without consent. It is a form of online sexual violence and a violation of privacy that disproportionately affects women, girls, and LGBTQ+ individuals. This type of technology-facilitated gender-based violence is growing in global prevalence and causes a wide range of harms to those who experience it. There are over 3,000 websites that host or share non-consensual intimate videos and photos, reflecting a vast enabling environment that facilitates this form of online sexual violence.
Despite the growing prevalence and widespread harms of image-based sexual violence, there is a lack of urgency about it among the public, policymakers, or tech companies. The field addressing this issue is in its early stages, the public misunderstands or lacks awareness about it, laws need to be strengthened and implemented, technology companies can do much more to prevent this content from being present on their platforms, and cultural norms still enable and facilitate this type of abuse. Moreover, this type of online violence inhibits women and girls from participating in public life and certain professions, such as journalism or running for office, as they anticipate the type of online sexual violence they will likely face.
Our landscape report, I Didn’t Consent, provides an analysis of the issue of image-based sexual violence, rooted in the perspective of civil society stakeholders and survivor leaders with lived experience. Across the stories of lived experience experts, we see a theme: without effective policies and access to services and legal protection, survivors are left to create their own digital rape kits and clean up their own crime scenes while abusers and those who enable them are not held accountable.
The good news is that there are now over 50 organizations globally working to address this issue who have identified a strategic path forward. There is also a growing movement to prioritize this issue, and this field is poised to make major advancements over the next decade.
Panorama Global launched The Reclaim Coalition to help end image-based sexual violence. What are the goals of this new initiative?
The Reclaim Coalition to End Online Image-based Sexual Violence is a global, survivor-centered movement working across sectors to end image-based sexual violence in all its forms by raising awareness of the harms of IBSV, influencing policy and standards, and amplifying survivor voices through collaboration and information-sharing. We set out to support, amplify, and grow the field combatting image-based sexual violence and to foster a stronger coordinated global response resulting in lasting systems change.
The rapidly evolving nature of technology and the ongoing threat of online image-based sexual violence highlight the urgency for sustained investments in this critical work. As this movement gains traction, coordinated efforts to influence strategic philanthropy can make an outsized difference and catalyze the field to take its work to the next level. Every sector has a role to play in the pursuit of systems change. But the solutions must be informed by those who are closest to the problem—survivors and those who support survivors’ healing, justice, and protection.
Leading up to the launch of The Reclaim Coalition, we hosted two strategic convenings. First, a gathering for 20 lived experience experts from around the world to come together in person, build a sense of community, and to identify a list of recommendations that can advance progress and address gaps in prevention and access to healing. Following this impactful gathering, we hosted the first-ever Global Summit on Image-Based Sexual Abuse, that brought together 60 experts from 19 countries and fostered collaboration between civil society stakeholders and survivor leaders. The Summit was hosted in partnership with six leading organizations and agencies from Australia, France, South Africa, South Korea, the U.K, and the U.S. The Reclaim Coalition emerged from these global convenings to transform the systems and norms that enable online sexual violence.
The Reclaim Coalition to End Online Image-based Sexual Violence is working to build a greater sense of urgency among policymakers, tech companies, governments, and the public about this issue. This includes advancing field knowledge of image based sexual violence, creating global standards of care and access to services for survivors, and advancing justice through cooperation, advocacy, and accountability.
How is Panorama Global working with other organizations to further progress collective impact around the work to end image-based sexual violence?
In the months leading up to the launch of The Reclaim Coalition, we identified and connected with over 60 organizations and agencies around the world who are working on different aspects of this issue. Panorama’s approach to addressing complex emerging issues centers on fostering field-wide collaboration and The Reclaim Coalition is an example of this approach in action. By strategically combining decades of global expertise in the fight against online sexual violence, The Reclaim Coalition serves as a field catalyst to accelerate the speed and scale at which we can end this form of gender-based violence.
Key activities include elevating and championing survivor leadership as a central facet of this movement, co-facilitating and co-convening additional spaces for coordination and partnership-building amongst survivors and NGOs, enabling cross-sector strategy development, visioning, and knowledge-sharing, and joining with partners to present this issue in front of key audiences, including funders and policymakers.
In fall 2023, The Reclaim Coalition will be hosting working groups co-led by lived experience experts and civil society partners across the globe to advance specific strategies like a technology bill of rights, global standards for hotlines serving victims and survivors of image-based sexual violence, and better tools to evaluate and share best practices in criminal justice policy and technology accountability.
What can philanthropy do to meet the needs of this challenge and what else is needed for The Reclaim Coalition to achieve its mission to end image-based sexual violence?
The field of combatting image-based sexual violence is poised to make major progress. However, lived experience experts and civil society stakeholders describe how this issue area not yet received significant funding from governments, philanthropy, corporations, or individual donors. As image-based sexual violence continues to harm more people each year across borders and generations, there is an urgent need for coordinated, cross-sector solutions on a global scale because no single agency or entity can end image-based sexual violence on their own.
For those in philanthropy who care about issues affecting women and girls, as well as those looking to address gender-based violence, there are compelling investment opportunities to prevent image-based sexual violence and to strengthen the global response. This includes supporting individual organizations working on this issue in specific contexts, as well as supporting the development of the field as a whole through field-building and coordination mechanisms such as The Reclaim Coalition.
The Reclaim Coalition’s first three major donors, The Greenbaum Foundation, the Jensen Project, and Bumble made early investments to move the Coalition from an early-stage idea to reality. Specific additional areas for philanthropic investment in the next three to five years include supporting federal and state policy advocacy, victim’s services, and mental health support, innovative “tech for good” technologies, a widespread awareness-raising campaign, strategic litigation, survivor leadership, research, training for law enforcement and prosecutors, and prevention efforts, among others.
Together, we can build a world where all may be freely and safely online without the threat of image-based sexual violence, and where all survivors have access to justice and healing. The Reclaim Coalition is just the beginning of collective action to elevate, accelerate, and unify the global response to online image-based sexual violence.
Learn more about Panorama Global and The Reclaim Coalition
The Reclaim Coalition, powered by Panorama Global with seed funding from The Greenbaum Foundation, the Jensen Project, and Bumble, inc., is a global, survivor-centered movement working across sectors to end image-based sexual violence in all its forms. Panorama Global is a social impact nonprofit that empowers changemakers through radical collaboration. To learn more about The Reclaim Coalition to End Online Image-based Sexual Violence, visit our website and download the landscape analysis report, I Didn’t Consent.