Jena Dickson

Revenge porn is worryingly increasing. Growth in technology makes it even easier for ex partners to post private and sexually explicit images or videos on social media, to blackmail, harass or just embarrass victims. Between 2012- 2014, 149 allegations of revenge porn were reported to the police, according to official data.

Today a new offence in England and Wales received Royal assent; under an amendment to the Criminal Justice and Courts Bill. The statue now states anyone distributing photographs or films showing people engaging in sexual activity or with the individuals genitals exposed, without their consent, could face 2 years in jail. This includes physical distribution, posting online or spreading via texts and e-mails, with the intent to cause harm or distress.

Before this law, there was little victims could do about this breach in trust, yet it caused a lot of anguish, humiliation and anger. The effects are often underestimated, but some victims have described it as virtual rape.

Due to many of the sites images being posted outside the UK, it was often very hard to get the content removed, especially if these images weren’t ‘selfies’ – they couldn’t be protected through copyright laws either. This has meant the Government has had to act. MP for Loughborough, Nicky Morgan said, the “circulating of intimate photos of an individual without their consent is never acceptable” (

This has also been a big issue in America too, with many cases involving females suing their ex partners for posting revenge porn online. Scotland and Northern Ireland are also now considering creating similar offences to tackle this problem.

Hopefully this law will deter future revenge porn attacks and save more people from the embarrassing and distressing impacts of these new types of sexual crimes.


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