Over 200 prosecuted for ‘revenge porn’ in England and Wales

One man jailed for 12 weeks after sending intimate pictures to woman’s family

The figures  about prosecutions for revenge porn were published in the Crown Prosecution Service’s annual report on violence against women and girls

The figures about prosecutions for revenge porn were published in the Crown Prosecution Service’s annual report on violence against women and girls

 

More than 200 people have been prosecuted for “revenge porn” since a new law came into force last year in England and Wales to stop the sharing of sexually explicit images of people without their consent.

Many cases involved the online posting of intimate photos or images of a former partner in an effort to hurt or humiliate them. The director of public prosecutions said they were part of a growing trend for sexual offences to be instigated or committed online and through social media.

“Since the new legislation came into force there have been over 200 prosecutions for disclosing private sexual images without consent. We have also found that defendants in controlling or coercive cases rely on tactics such as GPS tracking and monitoring phone or email messages. The use of the internet, social media and other forms of technology to humiliate, control and threaten individuals is rising,” Alison Saunders said.

Distress

The offence covers any sexual images, including those in which the victim is clothed but may be posing provocatively, and carries a maximum penalty of up to two years in prison.

One man was sentenced to 12 weeks in prison after he used Facebook to send intimate pictures of a woman to members of her family and threatened to post other images online.

Another man received the same sentence after he sent pictures of a woman to her brother and a restraining order was granted for three years.

Although the law was chiefly designed as a response to online revenge porn, one man was convicted after he distributed intimate pictures of a woman inside and outside a supermarket. He received a sentence of 24 weeks in prison, suspended for 18 months, and a two-year restraining order.

The figures about prosecutions for revenge porn were published in the Crown Prosecution Service’s (CPS) annual report on violence against women and girls. The CPS is prosecuting and convicting a record number of rape, domestic abuse, sexual offences and child abuse cases. Rape, domestic abuse and sexual offences now account for 18.6 per cent of its caseload.

More than 100,000 were prosecuted for domestic violence in England and Wales last year, and more than 75,000 were convicted.

“Today a rape, domestic abuse, sexual offence or child abuse case is more likely to be prosecuted and convicted than ever before,” Ms Saunders said.

“Prosecutors have received detailed training, including on vulnerable victims and the issue of sexual consent.

“Following this work we have seen a rise in the rape conviction rate to 57.9 per cent, and, significantly, there has also been a fall in the number of acquittals after trial.”