There’s a fairly unpleasant sounding term that’s doing the rounds in the news a lot recently – “revenge porn”.
What exactly is it?
Well, Section 33 of the Criminal Justice & Courts Act 2015 created this as an offence, and – in short – it’s the disclosure of a private sexual photograph or film without the consent of the person in the image with the intention of causing them distress.
Subsection 3 states that a photograph or film is sexual if:-
- It shows all part of their genitals or pubic area; or
- It shows something that a reasonable person would consider to be sexual because of its nature; or
- Its content, taken as a whole, is such that a reasonable person would consider it to be sexual.
Disclosing such content is “by any means…”
I.e. not just on social media, or on the internet.
Any act that sees you showing a private sexual photograph or film of your ex-partner to anyone is an offence, if you intend to distress them by doing it.
That legal caveat might sound strange, but legally, it’s important: the intention to cause distress cannot be automatically inferred, and the prosecution must show that the publisher intended to cause distress.