There has been a nearly 300% increase in calls made to the Crime Victims Helpline (CVH) about the non-consensual sharing of intimate images.
The CVH launched its annual report, showing an increase in reports across LGBTQ+ hate crimes, racist hate crimes and cyber-crime in 2022.
Some 109 people called the CVH relating to the non-consensual sharing of intimate images last year, compared to 29 in 2021, representing a 275% increase.
CVH CEO Michele Puckhaber said harassment and “sex-tortion” are on the rise in Ireland.
“That’s where somebody shares intimate content with someone who they maybe don’t know that well,” she said.
“Then that person immediately threatens to share that image or whatever the content is unless they are given money – sometimes it’s gift vouchers, sometimes it’s more photos.”
Minister for Justice Helen McEntee said people should be aware of the 2021 Coco’s Law, which makes threatening to share sexual images of a person without their consent a crime.
“At least now, people who are subjected to this vile act are able to recognise it as a crime and find the support they need,” she said.
CVH recorded 5,828 contacts with victims in 2022, representing a 17.3% increase compared to 2021.
The CVH report also found a 78% increase in contact relating to LGBTQ Hate Crime and Racist Hate crime in 2022.
Ms Puckhaber said the increase in calls show the demand for the CVH’s services.
“With online life becoming more and more prevalent in today’s society it comes as no surprise to see this notable increase in contacts relating to cyber-crime in 2022,” she said.
Anyone affected by the issues raised in the survey can contact the following helplines:
National Sexual Violence Helpline (for men and women) - 1800 778 888 or rapecrisishelp.ie
National Domestic Violence Helpline (for women) - 1800 341 900
Male Advice Line (for men experiencing domestic abuse) - 1800 816 588