New legislation on sharing sexually explicit pictures in UK
12th October was an important day for the Safer Internet Centre. The Secretary of State Chris Grayling announced that people who maliciously share sexually explicit pictures of former partners will face prosecution under new laws.
The change will cover the sharing of images both online and offline. It will mean that images posted to social networking sites such as Facebook and Twitter will be caught by the offence, as well as those that are shared via text message. Images shared via email, on a website or the distribution of physical copies will also be caught. Those convicted will face a maximum sentence of two years in prison.
The offence will cover photographs or films which show people engaged in sexual activity or depicted in a sexual way or with their genitals exposed, where what is shown would not usually be seen in public.
The act of posting intimate photos without consent is not only committed by ex partners, the Safer Internet helpline has supported people whose laptops have been hacked, or had pictures stolen, as well as those being harassed by strangers. We hope that this amendment will deter people from posting personal pictures, and also help empower victims to come forward for support.