It has become almost commonplace for Danish young people between the ages of 15 and 30 to send and share nude photos via their mobile phones or other digital platforms.
According to a survey conducted by YouGov for DR Nyheder, nearly four out of every ten youngsters have sent a nude photo of themselves to someone, while over half have received one.
Perhaps most troubling is the 22 percent who said they would have “no problem” forwarding a picture they received of someone else. One in ten said they had already done so.
The risk, obviously, is that the sender has no control over where their naked snap may wind up. There are online groups featuring naked photos of Danish girls – the vast majority of which were posted without consent.
“In most cases the girls have a sense of powerlessness, loss of control, the fear of being humiliated and the knowledge that the pictures could be online for a month – a year or maybe 10 years,” Kuno Sørensen, a psychologist from Red Barnet, the Danish branch of Save the Children, told DR Nyheder.
A growing problem
The number of girls contacting Red Barnet for help has been steadily rising from a trickle in 2014 to several a month in 2015 and over one a day this year.
“The problem is growing and people are becoming more open” said Sørensen. “Those who previously tried to hide are now asking for help.”
In April, Sørensen’s organisation created an advisory site called SletDet that offers psychological advice and helps girls find ways to get their intimate photos off the internet.
“It is very traumatic for some of the girls – they need psychological treatment to get through the crisis,’ he said.
Sørensen said that posting nude photos of someone online without their permission was a sexual assault, and that the problem will continue to grow.
“I think we’re only seeing a tiny part,” he said. “There are still many who are so ashamed that they do not dare talk to anyone about it.”