Hotline Fields Nearly 2K Revenge Porn Calls

HotlineLOUGHBOROUGH, England – A hotline devoted to supporting victims of revenge porn has fielded more than 1,800 calls during its first six months in operation. Of those, 280 represented reports of new crimes under the revenge porn criminalization section of the Criminal Justice and Courts Act 2015, according to the organization that operates the line.

Men were the victims in 25 percent of the cases; 40 percent of those involved gay male victims. Extortion appeared to be the primary motive in approximately 50 percent of all reports where a man of any sexual orientation was victimized.

Of the 75 percent of cases in which women were the victims, many involved ex-girlfriends posting their former lovers’ new girlfriends’ photos.

South West Grid for Learning established the service to provide information and legal referrals for people whose intimate images and details have been published online or offline in an attempt to harass or humiliate them. The service also helps victims report the crime to police and assists in having the images removed.

“Our service aims to provide a safe, nonjudgmental first point of contact for victims,” Laura Higgins, the hotline’s safety operations manager, told Loughborough Echo. “All our clients tell us how grateful they are to be able to talk to someone who understands what has happened to them.”

Those convicted of violating the law face a maximum sentence of two years in prison. The first offenders were sentenced in mid-August.

“This helpline is helping hundreds of people by signposting them to support and offering advice on how to remove this content,” Loughborough MP Nicky Morgan said. “We have also brought in new laws to make revenge pornography illegal. But this is just the start, and we must continue to tackle this despicable crime.”

 

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Sue Denim

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