Photo/Illutration The building housing the National Police Agency in Tokyo’s Chiyoda Ward (Asahi Shimbun file photo)

The number of reports of revenge porn made to police rose by 6.2 percent in 2020, the National Police Agency announced on March 4.

Cases increased by 91 from the previous year to 1,570 in total--the highest the number has been since 2014, when the law to prevent revenge porn came into effect.

Revenge porn is where people share sexually explicit images or video of another person they know without their permission mainly on the internet. 

The gender divide among victims is stark. Women reported 1,427 of the instances, making up about 90 percent of the total, according to the annual report. Meanwhile, 142 of the complaints came from men, which is up by nearly 50 percent from the previous year.

Broken down by age group, those in their 20s made up the largest number of victims at 660, followed by 429 victims under 20 and 247 in their 30s.

There were 567 cases where people reported being threatened that their photos would be posted, 559 cases where people reported someone possessed photos of them or had filmed them, 286 reports of photos being posted, and 254 reports of people receiving such photos.

The perpetrators include victims’ boyfriends, girlfriends, or their exes, which made up 54 percent. Online acquaintances or internet friends totaled 16.4 percent, while other acquaintances or friends accounted for 13.2 percent.

Police handled 245 cases in total, down by 16 from the previous year. Broken down by the suspected crimes, the figure includes 47 violations of the revenge porn prevention law, 43 instances of blackmail, 34 violations of child prostitution or child porn laws, and 27 extortion attempts.