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Revenge Porn: More Than 200 Prosecutions in First 18 Months

09 SepWoman using laptop computer

Statistics published by the Crown Prosecution Service (CPS) show that more than 200 people have been prosecuted in the 18 months since revenge porn legislation was introduced in England and Wales.


Revenge porn involves an ex-partner sharing sexual images of a victim on the internet and social media in an attempt to cause them humiliation and embarrassment. In April 2015 it became an offence to distribute private sexual images or video without the consent of those involved, with the courts being given the power to impose prison sentences of up to two years on anyone found to be breaking the law.


However the statistics, published in the CPS’s annual Violence Against Women and Girls (VAWG) report, show that revenge porn is just one part of a growing trend of domestic abuse crimes being reported:

  • 18.6% of all cases handled by the CPS were for domestic abuse, rape or sexual offences.
  • 100,930 people were prosecuted for domestic abuse offences, with conviction rates rising to 74.5%.
  • 4,643 people were successfully prosecuted for rape offences, with a further 2,689 prosecuted for alternative or lesser offences.
  • Around 70% of the 9,077 prosecutions for stalking and harassment were in some way linked to domestic abuse.
  • 5 people have been prosecuted under the new controlling and coercive behaviour legislation since it was introduced in December 2015.

Speaking about the findings with BBC Radio 4’s Today programme, the Director of Public Prosecutions, Alison Saunders, explained:


“Today a rape, domestic abuse, sexual offence or child abuse is more likely to be prosecuted and convicted than ever before. We’re working very hard with prosecutors and with social media companies such as Twitter and Facebook to make sure that we understand exactly how social media might be used but we also understand how we might extract the evidence from social media.”


Raising Awareness amongst Teenagers


Anyone can be affected by domestic abuse, regardless of their age, gender, sexuality, religion or lifestyle. However, we live in an increasingly interconnected digital world and know from experience that teenage girls are most at risk of experiencing domestic abuse. The internet and social media is being utilised by perpetrators – particularly in cases which involve teenagers and young adults.


The CPS report highlights that some victims of revenge porn have been as young as 11 years old, while those using our services have told us how their social media accounts were hacked, their emails read or web browsing monitored. 


It is important that more is done through schools, colleges and universities to educate young adults and make them aware of the types of behaviour which constitute domestic abuse. Mechanisms also need to be put in place so that young people can report incidents of domestic abuse with confidence.


Leeway is an independent Norfolk based domestic abuse charity offering free and confidential support to anyone experiencing domestic abuse. To speak to one of our trained team, you can call our helpline on 0300 561 0077. 


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