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Sunday 18 August 2019

Revenge porn law should be even tougher - victim

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Laura Lynott

Laura Lynott

A victim of revenge porn is calling for perpetrators to be placed on the Sex Offenders' Register along with planned new tough legislation which could see offenders jailed.

The woman known as 'Jane' told how she suffered anxiety after her ex-partner shared intimate imagery of her on a porn website.

She went to gardaí, but found the justice system was unable to stop her ex from sharing the images.

But now revenge porn is set to be outlawed with new legislation which could lead to the jailing or fining of offenders.

'Jane' told Sean O'Rourke on RTÉ Radio One: "My ex-boyfriend secretly filmed me and uploaded it to a porn website for over a year.

"A friend of mine came across it and told me about it, it's the only reason I know.

"I burst into tears. My first response was to run to the bathroom and throw up."

'Jane' said she went to gardaí and was assured by an officer that they would be able to help. But the legislation available meant nothing could be done.

The Harassment, Harmful Communications and Related Offences Bill will provide for a six-month prison sentence under the proposals originally put forward by Labour in 2017.

Offenders could be fined up to €5,000. Labour leader Brendan Howlin said that if there were serious, aggravating factors the prison term could be increased.

Dublin Rape Crisis Centre chief executive Noeleen Blackwell said offenders could be placed on the Sex Offenders' Register in Scotland where they could also be jailed for up to five years.

"If you take an intimate photo or film another person without their permission, or share it without their consent, you are violating that person's dignity and their right to privacy," she said.

Women's Aid also welcomed the proposals, saying 561 disclosures of digital abuse and stalking were made in 2018 and this was "only the tip of the iceberg".

Irish Independent

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