Revenge porn: Government to consider changes to sexual offences laws in bid to stamp out practice

Campaigners say that current laws are not enough to deter increasing numbers of men from trying to humiliate their ex-partners by posting explicit images of them online

The Government is to consider a change in the law to stop ‘revenge porn’ where men post explicit pictures of their former wives or girlfriends online.

Chris Grayling, the Justice Secretary, told MPs that ministers would look into how to outlaw a practice that is becoming increasingly widespread.

He told the House of Commons: “It's clearly becoming a bigger problem in our society. The Government is very open to having a serious discussion about this with a view to taking appropriate action in the autumn if we can identify the best way of doing so.”

It is believed that the Ministry of Justice may now examine how existing sexual offences laws could be amended to outlaw the distribution of sexual images without the person's consent.

Campaigners say that current laws are not enough to deter increasing numbers of men from trying to humiliate their ex-partners by posting explicit images of them online.

They say laws preventing “malicious communications” usually concern written abuse rather than images, and harassment laws often require repeated actions rather than a single internet posting.

Since images can very quickly be reproduced on countless other websites, it is often impossible to remove them from the web. Campaigners say that the revenge postings can wreck people’s careers and relationships with their new partners.

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