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Threatening To Share Revenge Porn To Soon Become Illegal In UK

by : Emma Rosemurgey on : 02 Mar 2021 11:10
Threatening To Share Revenge Porn To Soon Become Illegal In UKPexels/PA

Threatening to share revenge porn content will soon be a crime, punishable by up to two years in prison, thanks to a powerful campaign led by domestic abuse charity Refuge.

The act of revenge porn – sharing intimate photos or videos of someone without their consent, with the intent of causing embarrassment or distress – has been illegal in England and Wales since 2015, and Northern Ireland since 2016.

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However, until now, there has been no legislation protecting people against those threatening to share such content.

Threatening To Share Revenge Porn To Soon Become Illegal In UKPA Images

A number of changes are now set to be made to the Domestic Abuse bill, to encompass the act of threatening revenge porn, making it a crime punishable by up to two years behind bars. The amendments to the bill are set to enter the report stage next week, with the final royal sign off expected to take place in spring.

It comes following a huge campaign from Refuge, which saw nearly 45,000 supporters, including a number of high-profile women, such as Oliva Coleman and Zara McDermott, who recently released a documentary detailing her own experiences with revenge porn.

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In addition to the amendments on revenge porn, the bill will now include non-fatal strangulation as an offence punishable by up to five years in prison. Campaigners have fought for years for protection against strangulation, as abusers often manage to avoid punishment if the strangulation does not leave visible injuries.

Legislation relating coersive and controlling behaviour will also be amended, meaning the abuser and victim no longer need to live together for it to be a crime.

Following an announcement from the government, Refuge’s director of communications, Lisa King, issued a statement, in which she described the law change as ‘a significant moment’ for those facing threats of revenge porn.

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‘We are thrilled that the government has recognised the need for urgent change. Our research found that one in seven young women have experienced these threats to share, with the overwhelming majority experiencing them from a current or former partner, alongside other forms of abuse,’ she said.

‘The domestic abuse bill provides the perfect legislative vehicle for this change, and the government has acted quickly and decisively. This is a victory for women and girls and testimony to the power of working together for change.’

The new amendments to the Domestic Abuse bill are expected to become law in the spring.

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If you’ve been affected by any of these issues and want to speak to someone in confidence, contact Refuge’s national helpline on 0808 2000 247, or visit www.nationaldahelpline.org.uk.

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Emma Rosemurgey

Emma Rosemurgey is an NCTJ trained Journalist who started her career by producing The Royal Rosemurgey newspaper in 2004, which kept her family up to date with the goings on of her sleepy north east village. She graduated from the University of Central Lancashire in Preston and started her career in regional newspapers before joining Tyla (formerly Pretty 52) in 2017, and progressing onto UNILAD in 2019.

Topics: News, domestic abuse, Revenge Porn

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Refuge
  1. Refuge

    Refuge responds to Ministry of Justice announcement to make threatening to share intimate images a crime