Press Release – Government crackdown on Image-based abuse – Ministry of Justice

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Abusers who share intimate images without consent to face up to 6 months in prison. Abusers, predators and bitter ex-partners who share intimate images online without consent of those depicted will face jail time under new measures announced today (27 June 2023).

New amendments to the Online Safety Bill will protect victims of so-called “revenge porn” by changing current laws which require the prosecution to prove that perpetrators shared sexual images or films in order to cause distress.

Removing the need for lawyers to prove the intention of distress will make it easier to charge and convict someone who shares intimate images without consent – putting more offenders behind bars and better protecting the public. Those found guilty of this base offence have a maximum penalty of 6 months in custody.

And where it is proven a perpetrator also intended to cause distress, alarm or humiliation, or to obtain sexual gratification, they could face a 2-year prison term. Offenders found guilty of sharing the image for sexual gratification could also be placed on the sex offender register.

The reforms follow the campaigning of Georgia Harrison, who was the victim of image based abuse at the hands of her former partner, and Dame Maria Miller MP as well as recommendations from the Law Commission, to introduce reforms to the laws covering the abuse of images.

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