UK Revenge Porn Law Is Not Being Enforced Correctly

British victims group says revenge porn laws need tightening up and police still need more training on how to deal with such cases

Police from England and Wales state the amount of alleged cases have more than doubled in the last four years – from 852 in 2015-16 to 1,853 in 2018-19, while the number of charges have dropped by 23% from 207 to 158 during the same period.

Revenge porn is the sharing of private or sexual images or videos of a person without their consent which became an offense in England and Wales in April 2015, and later similar laws were introduced in Northern Ireland and Scotland. A joint Ministry of Justice and Home Office statement said: “When we engaged with victims and campaigners in designing the new law they accepted that the motive for this crime is almost always malicious, rather than sexual, which is why the law considers it a non-sexual offense.”

But now, campaigners claim victims should get anonymity like sex offense victims, and the laws need to also include threats to share images not just the actual act of sharing them. However, revenge porn is currently categorized as a “communications crime”, meaning victims are not granted anonymity, that is why, in the last year, more than a third of victims decided not to proceed with the case.

Sophie Mortimer, from the Revenge Porn helpline stated “We’d also like to see it made a sexual offense because that would guarantee anonymity for victims. It’s all very well changing the law and making these things illegal, but if the frontline services don’t understand what the law actually means then you’ve only done half the job.”

Source: bbc.com

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