Liberal Democrat amendment making revenge porn a crime to be debated today – watch Hannah’s story

"Frozen Poetry" - Houses of Parliament, LondonThis afternoon, an amendment to the Criminal Justice and Courts Bill in the name of four Liberal Democrat peers, Jonathan Marks, Olly Grender, Liz Barker and Sal Brinton, will be debated in the House of Lords. Its effects would be to make it an offence to publish a sexually explicit image of a person without their consent, punishable by 6 months to a year in prison.

It’s just over two months since I first wrote about this modern form of abuse. I said:

It’s time for the law to catch up with this most modern form of abuse.  It takes seconds for a controlling man to inflict a lifetime of hell on a woman. That can’t be right.

Since then, the issue has attracted cross party support, with both our Julian Huppert and Conservative Maria Miller raising it in Parliament.

Guildford Liberal Democrat Hannah Thompson has done a huge amount of work on this. She wrote about her own experience on this site last week:

As a victim of revenge porn, I can’t even begin to explain how relieved it makes me to think that Parliament is seriously considering these proposals. Most victims of revenge porn are shamed and forced in to silence for fear that more people will find their images. They’re made to tolerate the abuse and forced to suffer through tedious copyright claims because it’s the closest they can get to having something done.

I’ve spoken to victims who were suicidal, whose images were taken on a Polaroid camera before they had any concept of the Internet, who have lost their careers and whose relationships have been ruined. All the while, those who have published the images are free to sit back and revel in the pain they’ve caused to someone whose only crime was to trust them.

Hannah has also told her story in yesterday’s Sunday Mirror and now features in a video on the Liberal Democrats’ website:

It takes a huge amount of courage to speak out about something like this. Let’s hope that by the end of today we are a bit closer to changing the law to make this appalling abuse a crime.  You can back Hannah’s and the Liberal Democrats’ campaign to end revenge porn here.

* Caron Lindsay is Editor of Liberal Democrat Voice and blogs at Caron's Musings

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