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Crime

‘Revenge porn’ to become illegal under new law for England and Wales

Joseph McCormick February 12, 2015

Posting ‘revenge porn’ images online became a specific criminal offence in England and Wales today.

The Criminal Justice and Courts Bill, which has a specific amendment passed by the House of Lords last year, and later by the House of Commons makes sharing sexual images of a person online without their consent.

It is today to receive Royal Assent and later become law.

Those found guilty can be punished with up to two years in prison.

The amendment, as well as covering websites and social media such as Facebook and Twitter, also includes images sent by text.

It specifically refers to “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”.

Scotland and Northern Ireland are also considering similar laws.

Last year, the Crown Prosecution Service warned that sharing images of an ex-partner could lead to a 14 year sentence even without changing the law.

A recent high-profile case of alleged revenge porn is that of theatre critic Mark Shenton. He claims he was sacked from his job at the Sunday Express after “embarrassing” images were made public on a gay website.

The proliferation of straight and gay dating apps in recent years means the exchange of sexually explicit images has become a routine part of the online world for many people.

Research published in August revealed almost half of young people said the phenomenon of sexting, where people send explicit pictures of themselves to others, was “part of everyday life for teenagers nowadays

Gay rights charity Stonewall said the survey highlighted the need for compulsory sex and relationships education (SRE) in schools.

More: Facebook, photo, porn, revenge porn, sharing, Twitter

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