September 29th, 2016

‘Revenge porn’ victims should have anonymity says police and crime chief

‘Revenge porn’ victims should have anonymity says police and crime chief ‘Revenge porn’ victims should have anonymity says police and crime chief

VICTIMS of ‘revenge porn’ should have the same legal right to anonymity granted to victims of other sexual crimes.

So says Warwickshire Police and Crime Commissioner Ron Ball who has pledged his backing for the No More Naming campaign which aims to close the legal loophole.

The campaign has been launched by North Yorkshire Police and Crime Commissioner Julia Mulligan, who has joined forces with revenge porn victim Keeley Richards-Shaw.

The two women have jointly written to the Justice Secretary Michael Gove and the chair of the Justice Select Committee Bob O’Neill requesting meetings to discuss the issue, and have launched an online petition Change the Law: No More Naming of Revenge Porn Victims.

Mr Ball said the law had not kept pace with the fast-changing nature of technology.

He added: “We need to make sure that victims of these kinds of offences are given the same level of protection as any other victim of a sexual offence would expect.

“Sadly, it would appear that without giving victims additional legal protection some newspapers and other media outlets will continue to name and publicly humiliate people who find themselves in this unfortunate position – this is unacceptable and I hope that the Government will take action.

“I’m more than happy to add my name to the petition and I’d urge people in Warwickshire to sign up too as well as helping to spread the message on Twitter with the hashtag #NoMoreNaming.”

Keeley’s experiences were made public when her ex-boyfriend Alec Brewer became the first person to be sentenced under new laws to tackle revenge porn after he shared intimate photos he had taken of her without her knowledge.

Ms Mulligan said: “While Keeley’s local newspaper did the right thing and protected Keeley’s identity in its coverage of the court case, other media didn’t, and Keeley’s name and picture appeared in national newspapers.

“Any victim of revenge porn should have full confidence that their identity will be protected by law and this matter deserves to be far higher up the political agenda.”

Keeley said she was distraught when she saw her name splashed across the national media.

“I hadn’t even told my own brother about what I had gone through. So I felt humiliated when people were ringing my parents and telling them they had seen my story on the internet.

“I regard myself as a very private person. But while I lost my right to privacy over what happened to me, I am determined to raise the issue as much as I can to ensure that victims of this sort of crime are not publicly named in the future.”

Visit www.NoMoreNaming.com to sign the petition.

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