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New Revenge Porn Law sees over 200 Prosecuted

A Crown Prosecution Service report has revealed that a new revenge porn law, which was introduced in England and Wales last year, has seen more than 200 people prosecuted.

The CPS’s yearly report into Violence Against Women and Girls (VAWG) has produced statistics showing that there were 206 cases against defendants, each of whom were accused of posting private sexual images between 2015 and 2016. The data also incorporates sex crimes and abuse against men and boys.

The act of posting revenge porn often involves a former partner, spouse or friend posting intimate or nude pictures on the internet without the permission of the other party, usually to cause embarrassment or humiliation. Often, the sensitive images are accompanied by detailed information about the subject, including their names, address and hyper-links to their Facebook, Twitter or other social media pages.unnamed

Legally, revenge porn is divided into two legal sub-sections. Anyone caught posting or sharing revenge porn pictures could be committing an offence under the Communications Act 2003, and if repeated the charge may also amount to an offence under the Protection from Harassment Act 1997. If convicted of posting revenge porn, the culprit could face a sentence of up to two years in jail.

One of Britain’s most senior prosecutors disclosed that there has been a “growing trend” of worrying online crimes that are being solely perpetrated through social media. According to the VAWG report, “The use of the internet, social media platforms, emails, text messages, smartphone apps, spyware and GPS tracking software to humiliate, control and threaten victims is rising.”

The report was not only created to highlight the rise in online sexual crimes, but for the Crown Prosecution Service to be able to better explain to prosecutors the varying levels of online sexual crime, including guidelines for “grossly offensive communications, containing images of women with very serious injuries, being raped or being subjected to sadistic acts of violence.”

A public awareness campaign was launched by the Ministry of Justice to highlight the legislation surrounding revenge porn. The ‘Be Aware B4 You Share’ campaign aims to make it clear that posting explicit images or videos without consent is unacceptable and is a criminal offence. The campaign also urges people to discourage those who think that “sharing explicit images is a bit of fun”. It also advises victims to report the crime to the police.

The television presenter Anna Richardson also recently tacked revenge porn in a documentary of her own. In the programme, Richardson posted pictures of herself on a revenge porn website to gauge the level of use and understand the world that victims are being exposed to. Her pictures received over 43,000 views in three days, as well as a torrent of abuse. She told the Evening Standard: “It’s really, really, taken my breath away. Revenge porn is undoubtedly utterly heinous and dangerous, and everybody should be aware of the risks.”

If any member of the University of Portsmouth has been a victim of revenge porn, we’d like to hear from you. Email: editor@galleonnews.com

More information on the Be Aware B4 You Share Campaign can be found here: https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/revenge-porn-be-aware-b4-you-share

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