New Revenge Porn Laws Are Coming Into Effect But What Do They Mean?

The topic of revenge porn has been given a lot of air time in the media, thanks to campaigners like Polly Neate, chief executive of the Women’s Aid charity, and thankfully the laws governing revenge porn are finally going to be changed. Back in July we wrote about the new revenge porn laws, titled ‘Revenge Porn and the Media: The Call For Change’ but we’re now pleased to say that they are currently going through Parliament.

Designed to help protect victims, these new laws should make it easier for the police to force websites to remove revenge porn and to punish the people that uploaded it in the first place.

If you’re baffled by the legal terms and switch off when it comes to politicians, we’ve taken a closer look at the new law and what it means for you and your safety online.

If you’ve been affected by this issue, or want to make sure you don’t become a victim in the future, here’s a quick rundown of what’s changed and what you can do to protect yourself online.

What is revenge porn?

According to the www.gov.uk website, revenge porn is “the distribution of a private sexual image of someone without their consent and with the intention of causing them distress”.

This might mean someone uploading an explicit photo if you to the internet or sending images by picture message or email.

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Up until now, the laws that relate to revenge porn haven’t gone very far and it was difficult for victims to get the images or videos taken down. In some cases victims have even found that just asking for the photos to be removed from a site has got them more attention and spread the images further around the web.

What are the new laws?

The new law covers images and videos shared both online and offline and means that anyone sharing revenge porn by Facebook, Twitter, text message, email or even distributing physical photos could be arrested and face up to two years in prison.

The law will cover photographs or videos where what is shown would not normally be shown in public. This means images that show people engaged in sexual activity, with their genitals exposed or in any sort of sexual way.

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This should make it a lot easier for victims to have videos and photos removed from websites quickly, minimising the chances of the photos or videos spreading around the internet. It should also make it easier for the police to arrest and prosecute anyone found guilty of sharing revenge porn online or offline.

Will this stop people uploading revenge porn to the internet?

Though this new law will make it easier to get photos and videos taken down from a website, unfortunately it can’t stop people posting them in the first place.

Even with the police and justice system finally backing victim’s rights, once photos and videos are online, it’s almost impossible to delete them forever and there’s a real chance that photos you take with someone you’re in a relationship with now could come back to haunt you.

The best way to make sure you don’t become a victim of revenge porn is to never take the photos or videos in the first place. That way you don’t have to worry about an ex-boyfriend or ex-girlfriend using them to embarrass or upset you in the future.

If you’re worried about any of the issues discussed here or perhaps some images that you’re worried about, contact our Freephone helpline on 0808 800 1037 or live chat using the box in the bottom right hand corner.