‘Cyber rape’: Exploring Revenge Porn from a Psychological Perspective

Dr Tiffany Lavis1, Ms Tegan Starr2, Ms Tahlee Mckinlay3
1Flinders University, Bedford Park, Australia, 2University of Adelaide, Adelaide, Australia, 3University of New England, Armidale, Australia

Revenge porn, often referred to as ‘cyber rape’, is taking what we know about technology, and the sharing of images, and introducing a more sinister and permanent element. Victims of this emerging crime are experiencing many of the same psychological effects as victims of sexual assault, but the convenience of this crime has the potential to impact individuals on a much broader scale. Given the recency of a legislative response, revenge porn is an under explored research area, but one which requires considerable focus given the potential for harm. This presentation outlines two experiments which explore revenge porn in light of psychological theory, including the impact of differing levels of nudity in intimate images, and how factors such as the mode of sharing an image and individual differences might impact. Considering revenge porn from a victimisation viewpoint, this research outlines possible pathways for improving outcomes for victims of this crime.


Dr Tiffany Lavis is a registered psychologist with experience in the forensic field working with victims of crime, as well as work with sexual and other violent offenders. Dr Lavis has over 12 years of experience in academia where she has taught the topic Psychology, Crime and the Law as part of the Flinders Law School. Dr Lavis currently works as a consultant psychologist completing medico-legal psychological assessments for Victims of Crime Compensation.

Tegan Starr completed her Honours degree in psychology at Flinders University in 2017.  She is currently in her first year of studying a Masters of Health Psychology at the University of Adelaide. Tegan has experience volunteering and working in youth mental health, both in Australia and overseas.

Tahlee Mckinlay has a Bachelor of Psychological Science (Honours) degree from Flinders University and is currently undertaking her Masters at the University of New England. Tahlee has experience in an administrative role working with a private psychologist. She is interested in pursuing a career in the forensic psychology field.


The society is devoted to promoting criminological study, research and practice in the region and bringing together persons engaged in all aspects of the field. The membership of the society reflects the diversity of persons involved in the field, including practitioners, academics, policy makers and students.

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