Laws Regarding Revenge Porn in the UK Result in Fewer Charges

Laura BednarCyber Bullying and Online Harassment

Workplace Bullying Affects Millions

Laws in the UK that were meant to treat revenge porn as a specific crime have not helped bring any more violators to justice. The laws were enacted in 2015, but according to police data, the number of charges dropped by 23% between 2015 and 2019 even though the amount of investigations has doubled.

Breaking Down the Revenge Porn Law

Revenge porn is defined as the sharing of private, sexual materials that either show explicit parts of the body or people in provocative positions either fully clothed or not, with the intent to embarrass or cause distress. These photos or videos are considered revenge materials if they are shared without the consent of the subject and would otherwise not be seen in public. These materials are unlawful if shared through any of the following mediums:

  • Social media
  • Text message
  • Email
  • Websites
  • Physically showing someone a paper or electronic copy

The UK commonly dealt with these kinds of cases under existing Communications Acts and Malicious Communications Acts, but the main difference in their new law was that a party found guilty could face up to two years in prison.

While the UK created stricter laws, only 39 states in the United States have their own nonconsensual pornography laws and there is no federal law relating to the subject.

Why the Lack of Charges?

Since the revenge porn laws are classified as a communications crime, rather than a sexual crime, victims who come forward may not be anonymous. This led to fewer people coming forward for fear of retaliation from the attacker as over a third of victims in the past year have refrained from pursuing a case. The crime is not considered sexual because the intent was malicious. Additionally, a survey in 2017 found that 95% of police officers had not had any training on revenge porn legislation.

Taking Action in a Revenge Case

If you are the victim of revenge porn, Secure Forensics can help. Our certified examiners have decades of experience in providing court-admissible evidence for online harassment and cyberbullying cases. Call 1-800-288-1407 for a free consultation today.