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'Sexting' and revenge porn

cyberhub_logoThere is a growing trend among adults and young people, including children, for creating and sending self-generated indecent images – ‘sexting’.

This is when a person takes intimate photographs of themselves, and sometimes even of friends, and sends it to a friend, boyfriend or girlfriend via their phone or publishes it on the internet – for example on social networking sites.

Distributing any indecent image of a child is a serious sexual offence. If someone is prosecuted for sharing indecent images of children, they may be placed on the sex offenders register.

Revenge Porn

A recent change in law has banned the exploitative practice of sharing intimate and often explicit photos in order to shame and humiliate trusting victims.

The Criminal Justice and Courts Act 2015 prohibits the disclosure of private sexual photographs and films with intent to cause distress, commonly referred to as ‘revenge porn’.

It is now an offence for a person to disclose a private sexual photograph or film if the disclosure is made without the consent of the individual who appears in it, and with the intention of causing that individual distress.

The offence applies both online and offline and to images which are shared via the uploading of images on the internet, by text and e-mail, or by showing someone a physical or electronic image.

Anyone guilty of this offence could face a prison sentence up to two years, a fine or both.

Revenge porn – so called as it can commonly occur between two former partners or friends that have fallen out acrimoniously – can affect anyone, and Bedfordshire Police advises anyone who believes they are being exploited in this way to contact us immediately.

Revenge porn offenders often link the private material to their victim’s online content, such as Facebook, LinkedIn or even work websites, along with personal information including addresses and telephone numbers.

In some instances and particularly in honour-based revenge porn cases, this content is also directed at family members to cause maximum harm to the victim.

If you or someone you know is being threatened with or is subject to revenge porn offences, please call Bedfordshire Police on the non-emergency number 101 or text 07786 200 011.

Alternatively, contact Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111.

A helpline for revenge porn victims has already been established by the South West Grid for Learning (SWGfL) and information about it can be found on their Revenge Porn Helpline Website.

The helpline, open from 10am to 4pm Monday to Friday, can be reached on 0845 6000 459.

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