GEM Responds to CPS Statistics on 'Revenge Porn'

 

The Centre for Gender Equal Media welcomes the release today of the Crown Prosecution Service’s annual report on crimes against women. The report, which shows an increase in prosecutions across rape, domestic violence and sexual offences, also gives statistics for the first time on the new offence of disclosing private sexual images without consent, often referred to as 'revenge pornography', or more accurately as image based sexual abuse.

 

In the year since the new offence was introduced in April, 2015, there have been 206 prosecutions. While we welcome both the new offence, and the number of prosecutions that have been taken forward, this is only the tip of the iceberg. Urgent action is needed to introduce automatic anonymity for complainants to enable victims to come forward to report all forms of image-based sexual abuse.

 

There is wide spread public support for such action. Our poll, released in July, found that 75% of the public supported automatic anonymity for ‘revenge porn’ victims. The Government has also acknowledged that complainants of sexual offences, female genital mutilation and most recently forced marriage are more likely to report and support prosecutions if granted automatic anonymity. The same logic applies to all cases of so called ‘revenge pornography’.

 

We are calling on the Government to act now to strengthen the law, secure justice, and support victim-survivors of image based sexual abuse. This includes complainant anonymity for all sexual offences, including so-called ‘revenge porn’; addressing a loophole that excludes images which have been photoshopped; changing the burden from intent to distress to recklessness in causing distress; and ensuring sustainable funding for specialist services independent of the criminal justice system.

 

Watch GEM co-founder Professor Clare McGlynn talk on the need to strengthen the law on ‘revenge pornography’ here.

 

For press or media enquires please contact Professor Clare McGlynn

Clare.McGlynn@durham.ac.uk


 

 

 


Stay in touch. Follow us on Twitter, join our monthly e-bulletin, or send us an email

© GEM 2015  I  Durham Law School. Palatine Centre. Stockton Road. Durham. DH1 3LE.