GSOL - 'Revenge Porn'

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Pornography and Obscene Material

Northumbria Police recognize that the malicious publishing of private photographs online without the consent of the person photographed can cause distress. Often it is difficult for those subjected to this abuse to speak out, as they fear that drawing attention would only lead to more people seeing the images.

The UK Parliament is currently giving consideration to introducing a specific law to address the problem of “revenge pornography” but it is possible that there may be other offences committed. Advice from the Crown Prosecution Service states:

The issue in cases of "revenge pornography" will be whether the message or communication is grossly offensive, indecent, obscene or false, not whether the image itself is indecent or obscene.

Section 1 of the Malicious Communications Act 1988 deals with the sending of electronic communications which are indecent, grossly offensive, threatening or false, provided there is an intention to cause distress or anxiety to the recipient. 

Section 127 of the Communications Act 2003 makes it an offence to send or cause to be sent through a "public electronic communications network" a message that is "grossly offensive" or of an "indecent, obscene or menacing character". 

Where there is more than one incident, or the incident forms part of a course of conduct directed towards an individual, a charge of harassment should be considered. 

Where the images may have been taken when the victim was under 18, prosecutors will consider offences under the Protection of Children Act 1978. 

In the most serious cases, where intimate images are used to coerce victims into further sexual activity, other offences under the Sexual Offences Act 2003 will be considered.

If you have been a victim of revenge pornography you can report it to Northumbria Police.