Revenge porn ‘new regular’ after instances surge in lockdown

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By Cristina Criddle
Technology reporter

Woman on her phone

picture copyrightGetty Images

There has been a surge in studies of revenge porn this 12 months, with campaigners saying the issue has been exacerbated by lockdown.

Around 2,050 studies have been made to a government-funded helpline, a 22% rise from final 12 months.

As instances have remained excessive regardless of coronavirus restrictions easing, those who run the service fear that is “the new normal.”

Revenge porn grew to become unlawful in England and Wales 5 years in the past.

media captionRevenge porn sufferer Laura Bullock talks about how her ex-boyfriend shared bare photos of her

Recent analysis by home violence charity Refuge discovered that one in seven younger girls has acquired threats that intimate images can be shared with out their consent.

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There have been extra instances of revenge porn reported to a devoted UK helpline thus far this 12 months than in all of 2019.

Around two-thirds of instances reported to the helpline contain girls.

Helpline supervisor Sophie Mortimer mentioned the sustained rise is proof of behaviour triggered by the lockdown, and better consciousness of the crime and help.

The helpline is run by the charity South West Grid for Learning (SWGfL), a part of the UK Safer Internet Centre.

The charity has helped take away 22,515 pictures this 12 months – 94% of these reported by victims.

And instances surged in August.

‘The new regular’

David Wright, director of the UK Safer Internet Centre, mentioned: “The lockdown produced an extreme set of circumstances which are bringing a lot of problems.

“What we’re seeing right here, nevertheless, suggests one thing extra long-term has occurred which may imply we can be busier than ever earlier than. It’s worrying to assume this could possibly be the brand new regular.”

Research by domestic violence charity Women’s Aid found that more than 60% of survivors living with their abuser reported that the abuse they experienced got worse during the pandemic.

And revenge porn is a common form of abuse, according to Lucy Hadley, campaign and policy manager at Women’s Aid.

“Disclosing personal sexual pictures – or threatening to take action – is a typical type of abuse, and is especially harming younger girls.”

“Image primarily based types of abuse – corresponding to so-called revenge porn – have to be taken simply as significantly as abuse in ‘actual life’,” she added.

A sufferer’s view

Folami Prehaye became a victim of revenge porn when her former partner posted explicit pictures of her online.

He was given a six-month suspended sentence for harassment and distributing indecent images.

Miss Prehaye based the web site Victims of Internet Crime: Speak Out! to provide ongoing emotional support for victims of these kinds of offences.

She said: “There isn’t any surprise that there was a rise of instances throughout lockdown as increasingly more folks have been compelled to construct relationships on-line.

“The problem has always been there, its just that lockdown made it more apparent, and an easier place for predatory sexual exploitation.”

If you, or somebody , have been affected by home abuse or violence, the next organisations might be able to assist.

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