Campaigners launch graphic video to combat image-based sexual abuse

A hard-hitting video has been created as part of a campaign against image-based sexual abuse.

The short film, entitled Flayed, tells the story of a girl who finds out that naked photos of her are being shared around her school.

The creators of the film said they wanted to use graphic visual metaphors – likening the girl’s situation to being flayed alive – to make a stand against young men who share explicit images of girls without consent.

It is hoped the campaign will encourage the recipients of abuse material to delete any images they receive instead of sharing them and causing more harm and distress to the victim.

It was created by Loughborough University PhD student Bella Day in partnership with creative agency Effervescent and uses the slogan, Don’t look. Don’t share. Delete. It was co-commissioned by the Plymouth Youth Council in response to the Plymouth Violence Against Women and Girls group, and devised with input from Devon and Cornwall Police.

Bella said: “We want to put an end to this harmful behaviour.

“Sharing images of girls and young women without consent is abuse. It has a lasting detrimental impact, damaging girls' and young women's mental health and confidence, and compromising their safety.

Flayed asks boys and young men, who are bystanders to image-based abuse, to take action.

“By showing the pain caused, we hope to encourage young men who may be the recipients of abuse material to delete the images they receive, instead of cooperating with the perpetrator and further harming the victim.

“We want to empower young men to take a stand against this abusive behaviour by giving them a clear course of action to reduce harm, and to create a culture of respect and safety for everyone: Don’t look. Don’t share. Delete.”.

The 60-second film begins with a girl having lunch with friends in the school canteen.

As a series of phone notifications go off, the girl discovers the images she previously shared in confidence have been shared with the whole school.

That breach of trust and safety feels like being flayed alive.

The girl’s close friend sees what she endures and is horrified. He deletes the images from his phone and follows her.

Bella said: “The group of young women co-designed the key metaphor of being flayed alive.

“Being flayed viscerally conveys the horror and pain of having naked photos shared.

“It also shows the experience of having your identity – your skin, the bit of you your friends and family see – being ripped away from you whilst you just try to endure and survive the experience.

“We made the film quite graphic because so often when this is spoken about, it’s addressed to girls, telling them not to share naked photos. The real problem is boys sharing them.”

Bella is a third-year PhD student in the Department of Media and Communication. Her PhD research addresses the need for more diverse people with lived experience of complex topics to be meaningfully included in making social purpose campaigns.

She has been developing creative tools which help young people to create campaigns about issues that are upsetting, hard to talk about, or taboo.

One of the unexpected outcomes of her research is that, for the young people involved, it’s often a transformative experience which helps them feel better and happier.

Content warning: The video contains graphic representations of physical harm.

To watch the video visit


Notes for editors

Press release reference number: 23/148

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