Revenge porn victim speaks of relief after new law introduced

By Jessica Allen

A Coventry woman has spoken of her relief that posting revenge porn online is now a criminal offence.

Revenge pornography, defined legally as “photographs or films which show people engaged in sexual activity or depicted in a sexual way or with their genitals exposed, where what is shown would not usually be seen in public”, has become increasingly popular in the past eighteen months with sharing of images via social media, online forums and via messaging with friends.

The Coventry University student, who did not wish to be named, said that as a victim of revenge porn she was very satisfied that the offence will become punishable by up to two years in prison.

“I’ve never felt so violated and angry as I was when I found intimate photos of myself had been posted online by my ex,” revealed the woman, who was in a long-distance relationship for eight months. “They were uploaded to an anonymous forum site when I dumped him and I got sent the link by a friend some time later.”

She then went on to describe some of the explicit messages she had received when her social media details were also uploaded. “I had all sorts of photos and messages. I had to change my number and I’m so wary now of anybody I don’t know contacting me. I was even scared to leave the house for a while. I was embarrassed and ashamed.”

Revenge porn indicents have drastically increased with the aid of social media. Photo by Jessica Allen

Revenge porn incidents have drastically increased with the aid of social media.
Photo by Jessica Allen

The topic has become increasingly popular in recent months, with celebrities’ iCloud accounts being hacked and intimate photos of them circulated online last year.  Since then, Apple have been tightening their security and pressure has been mounting on government by the public, campaigners and politicians to outlaw the distribution of these images without consent.

“It’s a total break of trust to post personal photos online, especially when they were sent in confidence. These kinds of photos could easily stop me from getting jobs in the future,” said the woman. “I’m very happy that the government have taken notice of this really serious issue and are acting on it.”

The offence was added to the Criminal Justice and Courts Bill, which received Royal Assent and became law on Thursday (12th February).

 

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