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Revenge Porn

In England and Wales sharing private sexual photographs with intent to cause distress (or ‘revenge porn’) is a specific criminal offence. This is not yet the case in Scotland – although that might change soon. However this doesn’t mean that there’s nothing the Police can do.

At the moment someone who shares a sexual image without permission may be committing a number of criminal offences, including improper use of a public electronic communications network, threatening and abusive behaviour, blackmail, and stalking.

It is an offence to send sexual images of yourself or sexual messages to someone under 16, or to send sexual images or messages to anyone who does not consent to receiving them where this is done for the purpose of obtaining sexual gratification or causing humiliation, alarm or distress to the recipient.

What to do if someone shares your images

If someone has used your images without your consent or is threatening to use your images without your consent and this is causing you distress you should tell the Police. Don’t be embarrassed – it’s not your fault, it is a form of abuse and that person had no right to share your images.

If images are uploaded to a website you might be able to request that the site remove it. Most social networks don’t allow nudity, and many adult sites only allow content uploaded with consent. Many websites have a ‘report’ function which can be used to request a photo is removed. You may be also able to request that a search engine which holds the information remove it. Some search engines have tools to remove search listings and content in your name under their “right to be forgotten” rules. However this doesn’t apply to all content or all search engines. 

Unfortunately you can’t know who has taken a copy already or who might have it on a private device but the Police might be able to help you.