It is important to note that online Sexual Misconduct is taken equally as seriously as offline Sexual Misconduct.
Understanding and communicating consent and respect in an online world can be difficult, more difficult than face-to-face.
If someone attacks, harasses or threatens you online, it’s not your fault, even if you haven’t previously taken any safety precautions.
Whether your experience was recent or a long time ago, there is support available and you are not alone.
It’s never your fault.
It is key therefore, to understand what behaviours constitute online Sexual Misconduct. All of the examples listed below, are against the University of Warwick’s Sexual Misconduct Policy and some are against the law.
Examples of Online Sexual Misconduct
Non-consensual sharing of intimate images and videos: A person’s sexual images and videos being shared without their consent or taken without their consent.
- For instance: sexual images/videos taken consensually but shared without consent (‘revenge porn’)
Exploitation, coercion and threats: A person receiving sexual threats, being coerced to participate in sexual behaviour online, or blackmailed with sexual content.
- For instance: harassing or pressuring someone online to share sexual images of themselves or engage in sexual behaviour online (or offline) e.g. sending nudes.
Sexualised bullying: A person being targeted by, and systematically excluded from, a group or community with the use of sexual content that humiliates, upsets or discriminates against them.
- For instance: gossip, rumours or lies about sexual behaviour posted online either naming someone directly or indirectly alluding to someone.
- ‘Outing’ someone where the individual’s sexuality or gender identity is publicly announced online without their consent.
Unwanted sexualisation: A person receiving unwelcome sexual requests, comments and content. Sexualised comments (e.g. on photos).
- For instance: sending someone sexual content (images, emojis, messages) without them consenting.
- ‘Jokes’ of a sexual nature.
- Rating peers on attractiveness/sexual activity.