Why an on-line support forum?


The effects of child pornography on partners, wives and families is massively under-researched and is something that PartnerSPEAK is actively seeking to redress.

CASA has undertaken research about the role of on-line peer support forums (like PartnerSPEAK) for survivors of sexual assault and this research is also pertinent as to the aims of PartnerSPEAK as an on-line forum for people affected by their partners involvement in child pornography.

[size=150]Online Peer Support[/size]
For Survivors of Sexual Assault

Avrille Burrows - November 2011, Supervised by Juliet Summers & Carolyn Worth

This Research was prepared at the request of the South Eastern Centre Against Sexual Assault (SECASA) in conjunction with Royal Melbourne Institute of Technology (RMIT)


[i] “For many survivors of sexual assault and family violence, there appears to be a need for ongoing support and a need to feel connected to others who have experienced similar
trauma (Herman, 1992).”

“There are a vast number of survivors accessing peer support online worldwide, and although it may not be a fitting option for everyone, it is important in this age where
the internet is a vital commodity to daily living, that an online option is provided for those who may find it viable (Tate & Zabinski, 2004)”

“Alongside social networks, online forums or message boards are also highly trafficked, with one third of Australians who use the internet contributing to forums, blogs and
posting reviews (Howarth, 2008).”[/i]

An aspect of the research that really resonates with the principles behind PartnerSPEAK is the permission to be anonymous and the option for members and guests of the forum to read other people’s experiences and take what they need from the forum, at a particular time, without being required to comment or engage formally. It is very important to PartnerSPEAK that main sections of the forum are available without signing up and that people can read the parts that are helpful and observe what members and administrators are saying and doing without being called on to respond unless you want to. We will never ask that people use their real names or other identifying attributes unless you want to.

“Other benefits of engaging in online peer support identified that it provided members with anonymity and privacy as members could use an alias, and were able to express their thoughts and feelings without being identified (Bell, 2007; Finn & Banach, 2000, Stommel, 2009). Taking part in an online group, chat room or discussion forum provided members with the choice to respond instantly, take their time to respond or not reply at all. The ability to choose what you write and whom you engage with offers the individual an aspect of control. Active members or members who ‘lurk’ online, are seen to benefit by having access to advice, information and narratives provided by others in similar circumstances, instilling the feeling that they are not alone (Stommel, 2009). Being able to see personal achievements or stories seem to have a powerful impact than what may be overlooked in real life (Blanchard, 2011; King, 1994 as cited in Stommel, 2009 pg.21).”

Also, aligned with this research, PartnerSPEAK remains vigilantly moderated. Each member has their first post moderated before it goes live. PartnerSPEAK moderators will not allow posts that do not contribute to a safe, private and supportive environment. PartnerSPEAK moderators and administrators of the forum have first hand experience of having had a partner who accessed child pornography. The administrators of PartnerSPEAK are peers; we have experienced the situation that has brought members and guests to PartnerSPEAK.

Please see the following link to access the research described in this section:

There are details in the research paper about who to contact for further information.