Huffpost UK uk

Revenge Porn Could Soon Be A Crime In The UK: New Laws Considered By Justice Secretary Chris Grayling

Posted: Updated:
REVENGE PORN
Alamy

Revenge porn could become illegal in the UK to protect women from ex-partners who publish explicit pictures of them on the internet, ministers have said.

Chris Grayling, the Justice Secretary, said Tuesday that ministers will look to change the law to stop the trend of vengeful men posting sexually explicit pictures of their former partners online.

He said the government was "very open" to having a "serious discussion" about the issue, once the summer recess was over.

Grayling warned that jilted former boyfriends and husbands are increasingly posting humiliating pictures of their ex-partners on websites.

"It is clearly becoming a bigger problem in our society," he added.

Maria Miller, the former Cabinet minister, has called for a change in the law to tackle the "appalling" practice.

The former culture secretary praised Grayling’s promise.

"We have to send out a very strong message that posting exceptionally explicit images online is completely unacceptable,’ she added. ‘People shouldn’t have to face this degrading treatment."

Victims often find that the images are impossible to remove once they are posted online as they are reproduced on a host of other sites within minutes, putting careers and relationships at risk.

There is currently no law to address the issue. At present, legal action can only be taken if pictures are deemed a breach of copyright law, harassment or of under-18s.

There are only laws preventing “malicious communications”, which usually involves written abuse not pictures, and harassment laws which usually require a number of offences.

The Ministry of Justice is expected to now look at how existing sexual offences laws could be amended to outlaw the distribution of sexual images without the person's consent.

Concern has been growing about revenge porn, which campaigners say can lead to victims self-harming or even killing themselves.

It came as new figures showed domestic violence convictions have reached a new high, with three-quarters of cases taken to court ending in a guilty plea or verdict.

The conviction rate for domestic violence cases has reached its highest ever level, with cases now making up 10.7% of the Crown Prosecution Service's workload, the director of public prosecutions will announce on Wednesday.

However, the total of 58,276 convictions is only half the number of complaints passed from police to prosecutors.

Campaigners against domestic violence said the figures showed a step in the right direction but pointed out that two women in the UK were killed each week by their partners or former partners.