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Revenge p orn illegal in England and Wales With Two Year Prison Term


Revenge p orn is now illegal in England and Wales and anyone spreading it online can be jailed for up to two years according to Independent.co.uk

There was no specific law banning it until today and campaigners hope that the new legislation will deter people from posting s*xual photos and videos on the internet without consent.

The phenomenon, which has become more widespread with the rise of smartphones, usually involves men and boys sharing explicit images of former girlfriends after a break-up.

Singer and former X Factor judge Tulisa Contostavlos became a victim in 2012, when ex-boyfriend Justin Edwards put a s*x tape recorded during their relationship online.

Last year’s “Fappening” – a huge hack of celebrities' mobile phones – also generated public and political support for new laws to stop images being spread without women’s consent.

Jennifer Lawrence and Kirsten Dunst were among those to have private pictures stolen, although the hackers did not appear to be acting in “revenge”.

Campaigner Hannah Thompson, a 22-year-old who became a victim of revenge p orn two years ago, said the law was “a huge step forward”.

She discovered her ex-boyfriend had been posting photos of her taken when she was 18 on a blog, months after they split in what she believed was an amicable break-up.

“I spent months agonising over it and believing that it was my fault,” she said.

“This new law, along with the advice helpline, empowers victims and clearly displays that they are not at fault.

“I hope all these changes provide victims with a route to justice and aid them in getting their images taken down.”

She said “a culture that people could post s*xual images without consent, and just get away with it” is finally beginning to change.

The offence has been created in the Criminal Justice and Courts Act, which criminalises the distribution of private and s*xually explicit photos or videos without the consent of the person featured and “with the intention of causing that person distress”.

The Prime Minister supported the law during a debate in the House of Commons in July, calling revenge p orn a “dreadful” and “appalling offence” that “clearly has criminal intent”.

Previously, the Protection from Harassment Act 1997, parts of the Communications Act 2003 and the Malicious Communications Act 1988 had to be relied upon by prosecutors attempting to press charges.

The first statistics on the prevalence of revenge p orn, obtained by the Press Association last year, showed children as young as 11 have been victims, with their perpetrators often evading justice.

There were 149 allegations of crimes involving revenge p ornography during the two and a half years to September 2014, according to the eight police forces in England and Wales who collect data on it.

Women made up the vast majority of victims and only six incidents resulting in any sort of police caution or charge.

Dr Fiona Vera-Gray, prevention manager with the End Violence Against Women coalition, said legislation was only one part of the action needed to stop revenge p ornography.

“Prevention, beginning with age-appropriate s*x and relationships education in schools, is key to begin changing the attitudes that support forms of s*xual violence”, she added.
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