Revenge Porn – What it means for the victim and the offender

What is Revenge Porn?

Revenge Porn refers to the sharing of explicit or sexual, images or videos, without the consent of the person in the image. This is an issue among people of all ages from children as young as 11 to much older adults. However, the most commonly reported incidents have come from those who are in their teens to adults in their mid-twenties. This is often due to a lack of available information and support regarding the dangers and consequences of sharing explicit images.

When did this become an issue?

Reported cases of revenge porn have increased significantly in 2015 and 2016. With mobile phones becoming more and more intelligent and cameras being included as a standard feature on most models, sharing images has never been so quick and easy. This has led to an increase in people sharing intimate images with their partners via social media, text and other instant messaging services.

What are the effects of revenge porn on the victim?

When a relationship deteriorates and the break up is not an amicable one, some individuals may choose to use any explicit images that they have of their ex-partner against them as a means of “revenge” against the person who sent them. This can be extremely damaging for the victim. Such intimate and private images are, in most circumstances, intended to be seen by the recipient only. When such an image is shared with others and even the public, that person is then not in control of who sees this picture of themselves. This lack of control and feeling of humiliation can negatively affect that victim. Originally, they might have trusted that partner enough to share such personal content with them and be reassured that the recipient would not act so maliciously. A violation of trust such as this can leave a scar that then has the potential to negatively impact the victim psychologically and jeopardise future relationships.

rp-digi-postcard-1What laws are in place to protect victims?

The new law put in place recently evolved from the domestic violence, misuse of communication and sexual offences acts. The act criminalises sharing private, sexual images or films containing scenes that would not usually be seen in public. The term “sexual material” refers to images that show the genitals but also anything that a person would consider to be sexual, for example someone behaving in a sexual way or posing for a picture in a sexually provocative way.

So, what has changed recently?

This law isn’t a newly created law. It has been in existence for a significant period of time, however there have been some recent changes made to it in order to help support victims.

There will now be a consequence to those who are found guilty of this crime. Perpetrators could receive up to two years’ prison sentence for this offence.

Where can I find more information about this?

There is now plenty of information out there about revenge porn provided by the government and other governing bodies. Click the following link for more information about the specifics of revenge porn, offences and filing a report or see the “Helpful Links” section below.

How Safeline can help victims of Revenge Porn.

Safeline are able to support victims of revenge porn. Our helpline advisors and counsellors are experienced in dealing with such cases and can offer support and advice without judgement.

If you or someone you know has been affected by revenge porn and are considering reporting your case under the Sexual Offences Act 2003, speak to Safeline for confidential advice.

Our ISVAs are able to help you if you have been a victim and will support you through every step of reporting your case. For more information about our ISVA support follow this link.

 

More helpful links:

Revenge Porn Fact Sheet – .Gov

Crown Prosecution Service – Guidance for Prosecutors

Image Source:

Mirror.co.uk

www.gov.uk


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