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by Neil Evans
23 October 2014
Praise for action on revenge porn

Praise for action on revenge porn

An MSP who has led calls to tackle ‘revenge porn’ has welcomed support to help stop it.

Christina McKelvie, SNP MSP for Hamilton, Larkhall and Stonehouse, has led two debates in the Scottish Parliament on the subject and the campaign to “obliterate a gross abuse of privacy”.

Earlier this week, the House of Lords passed legislation for England and Wales to make revenge porn a criminal offence.

In Scotland, the Lord Advocate Frank Mulholland QC has already backed the creation of a specific new offence, as have the Scottish Lib Dems, who have written to Cabinet Secretary for Justice Kenny MacAskill.

Ministers have promised to look at the Lord Advocate’s plea for bespoke legislation to tackle a rise in ‘revenge porn’ involving intimate images being shared by former or current partners. 

McKelvie said: “As a direct result of my close contact and support of organisations like Women’s Aid and Rape Crisis Scotland, I learned just what an extensive problem revenge porn is and I began the work to introduce legislation to ban it.

“Revenge porn wrecks lives and as well as speeches in the chamber, I have written in blogs and on targeted websites in an effort to raise awareness and commitment to change.

“It’s great to see that the Scottish Liberal Democrats are backing my original proposals and it’s good to know that they will be backing forthcoming legislation. I hope that Scottish Labour and the Scottish Tories will want to follow the same lead.

“This isn’t an issue of party lines. This is about protecting people, especially young people, from having their lives destroyed by the malice of a former partner.”

Earlier this month, the Crown's national procurator fiscal for domestic abuse warned of a worrying rise in the phenomenon in an interview with Holyrood.

“We see more and more cases of that with the rise of things like social media and we know how devastating that can be for people,” said Anne Marie Hicks. 

“It can be used as a form of stalking, it can be used as a form of control. We have images that are taken consensually during the relationship but we also know from what victims tell us and from the victims groups that sometimes images are not taken consensually.

"People are controlled and forced to have these images [taken] and it’s just another way of controlling people’s lives. We want to look at how does the law deal with these at the moment and if there are gaps then we need to be moving to plug them to make sure that people are protected.”

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