The Rise of Revenge Porn

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One of the hottest topics on crime in the news recently has been ‘revenge porn’ – a new phenomenon causing chaos across the world. So much so, a dedicated helpline to support victims was created at the start of the year and has seen over 1800 calls in just six months. A record number of calls were taken this week following a documentary on Channel 4 about it.

Due to the devastating effects revenge porn has on victims and the rising number of cases, the government made an illegal offence in the UK last year to help protect victims and provide justice.

The first person to be convicted was imprisoned this year and carries a maximum sentence of up to two years in prison.

WHAT IS REVENGE PORN?
Posted by Gov.uk: “Revenge Porn is the sharing of private, sexual materials, either photos or videos, of another person without their consent and with the purpose of causing embarrassment or distress. The images are sometimes accompanied by personal information about the subject, including their full name, address and links to their social media profiles. The offence applies both online and offline and to images which are shared electronically or in a more traditional way so includes the uploading of images on the internet, sharing by text and e-mail, or showing someone a physical or electronic image.

WHAT WILL THE OFFENCE COVER? The new offence in the Criminal Justice and Courts Act 2015 will criminalise the sharing of private, sexual photographs or films, where what is shown would not usually be seen in public. Sexual material not only covers images that show the genitals but also anything that a reasonable person would consider to be sexual, so this could be a picture of someone who is engaged in sexual behaviour or posing in a sexually provocative way

The helpline – managed by South West Grid for Learning – victims with advice and information on legal help available and their right to have the images removed from any websites. It works with law enforcement and internet companies to remove content where possible. A breakdown of calls over the past six months shows that around 75 per cent are female. From the 25 per cent of calls relating to men, around 40 per cent were rom gay men.

Secretary of State for Education and Minister for Women and Equalities, Nicky Morgan, said:

It is never acceptable to circulate intimate photos of an individual without their consent. But I want all those affected to know that the government is on their side.

This helpline is helping hundreds of people by signposting them to support and offering advice on how to remove this content. We have also brought in new laws to make revenge pornography illegal. But this is just the start and we must continue to tackle this despicable crime.

Is this something you’ve been affected by? Join us on @Ogarras to discuss.
If you’ve been accused of revenge porn, get in touch with to discuss how we can help you.