Our society is becoming more and more exposed, almost everywhere, to images of women emphasizing their sexual appearance: at the bus stop - on posters advertising anything from perfume to underwear; in cafés and in shops - in magazines and newspapers (for example, “page 3 girls” in tabloids), at home – in films, songs, videogames and on the internet.
What is new is the rise in explicitly violent pornography which is not only degrading for women, but which is sadistic in nature - e.g. glorifying rape, often by several men (“gang bang”). This violent pornography even sometimes goes so far as to simulate the killing of women – and there are incidents of so-called “snuff videos”, where the women involved are killed in reality.
The wide and repeated exposure to violent pornography in which women are portrayed as disposable and interchangeable objects existing only for the sexual pleasure of men has a dehumanising effect, including a negative effect on the sexual relationships of women and men in real life. For example, both (private) consensual sex and rapes are sometimes filmed on mobile phones and put on the internet without the women’s knowledge or consent, violating the victims’ right to privacy. Violent pornography thus not only poses a threat to women’s dignity, but also to their rights – in particular, their right to live their lives free of sexual violence.
The Parliamentary Assembly recommends that the Committee of Ministers take the appropriate steps against violent pornography to protect women’s rights and dignity.