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Revenge Porn

By Simon Lincoln | 05 Jan 2022

Advice regarding Revenge Porn

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Revenge Porn

 

Revenge Porn is the sharing of private, sexual materials, either photos or videos, of another person, without their consent and with the purpose of causing embarrassment or distress. The offence applies both online and offline, and to images which are shared electronically or in a more traditional way so it includes the uploading of images on the internet, sharing by text and e-mail, or showing someone a physical or electronic image.

 

Revenge porn laws came into effect in the UK in 2015 as part of the Criminal Justice and Court Act.  The Act makes it a criminal offence for a person to: 'disclose a private sexual photograph or film if the disclosure is made (a) without the consent of the individual who appears, and (b) with the intention of causing that individual distress'. It means those who maliciously share sexually explicit images without the subject's consent could face up to two years in prison.  Reportedly ONLY a fifth of those caught by revenge porn laws are jailed for their crime, with most handed prison terms of less than a year.

 

MET police figures reveal a 329% rise in revenge porn in London over a 1-year period during the pandemic, with more people sharing explicit pictures of others without their consent. Shockingly, the number of victims aged between 10-17 has quadrupled in that time. The data, released by the MET through a Freedom of Information (FOI) request, showed the number of cases had risen by 698 between 01st Oct 20 and 31st Oct 31 21.  Female reports have also risen by a total of 572 cases when compared to the 177 reports last year - whilst male offences have increased by 162.

 

During the Pandemic and lockdowns people have had their relationships strained, leading to breakups. Furthermore, the line between what was real and virtual became skewed.  Many relationships were formed online last year as people spent more time at home, which meant sexual behaviour was happening virtually in the absence of real-life contact.

 

There are a number of steps you can take to keep revenge porn from happening to you:

 

  • Review your online security and privacy settings
  • Never share intimate photos with anyone - don’t post them online, on social-media, or in a private message
  • For maximum protection never take explicit images of yourself - if you wouldn’t want family, friends, or employers seeing the photo, it’s best not to take it at all
  • IF you really want to take (share) intimate photos of yourself alter them to conceal your identity – don’t include your face or any recognisable features
  • If you have children, especially teenagers, it’s important to talk to them about the risks of sharing intimate photos of themselves
  • Be aware of your surroundings, especially when at a club, party, or public event - almost everyone has a smartphone with a decent camera these days. Any picture they take, could end up online

 

Revenge porn is a dangerous trend that has grown rapidly and remains widespread. It could happen to anyone but happens most often to younger women. Revenge porn can be very traumatic for the victim. Although there are laws against revenge porn in the UK, it’s often still very difficult to completely remove the images from the internet/social media. Prevention is better than cure, so the most important thing is to make sure no one ever gets the chance to distribute sensitive photos or videos of you online. The best way to do this is by thinking very consciously about what’s visible in the pictures and videos you take of yourself and with whom you share them.

 

If you do become a victim, know that the person who spreads the images is to blame. Contact the police and the website (if you can) on which the images are being distributed and ask for them to be removed. Don’t engage with the suspect. Seek professional assistance. Collect evidence - make a record of what has been posted online and when. Inform your friends and family so they find out from you and not others. Consider your next move and don’t panic.

 

If you need advice or for Valkyrie to investigate, please contact us E: security@valkyrie.co.uk | T: +44 (0) 20 7499 9323

 

 

https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/revenge-porn

https://revengepornhelpline.org.uk/

 

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