The Domestic Abuse Bill has taken some big steps forward in protecting victims of intimate image abuse. Threats to share intimate images will soon be criminalised, with perpetrators facing up to two years in jail if they threaten to post private content. This has been added along with the concept that victims will no longer need to live in the same address as the perpetrator for the law to apply.
The legislation is currently within the House of Lords and will soon address a concern that has been apparent since the formation of the Revenge Porn Helpline with reported calls about threats to share intimate images increasing since the start. The domestic abuse charity Refuge started the #NakedThreat campaign to raise awareness about women experiencing domestic abuse and to fight for these important changes to the Domestic Abuse Bill. It is a major victory for these new changes to come into effect.
Sophie Mortimer (Manager of the Revenge Porn Helpline at SWGfL) said:
We are delighted that the government have agreed to include threats to share intimate images in the Domestic Abuse Bill currently moving through the House of Lords. Over 20% of our cases feature threats to share intimate images, often by current or former partners in order to control their victims and continue the abuse. The Law Commission have now launched their consultation on taking, making and sharing intimate images which also makes this recommendation, but the government’s commitment today will bring change more quickly and will ensure that more people are protected. The Revenge Porn Helpline has argued for this change since the beginning and have been very happy to support the Naked Threat campaign run by our good friends at Refuge which has helped get us to where we are today.
David Wright (Director UK Safer Internet Centre at SWGfL) said:
Ever since its launch in 2015, it is clear from those seeking help via our Revenge Porn Helpline that the threat to post their intimate images online is just as distressing as if those images have been posted online. Including this within the Domestic Abuse Bill is progress and comes at a time of much attention on ensuring adequate protection and safeguards are afforded everyone online. Our Helplines and reporting centres services, alongside our partners, stand for anyone who is a victim of abuse or harm online
If you are experiencing threats to share intimate images, you can always contact the Revenge Porn Helpline for free advice and help