World News – GB – Over 500 child victims of ‘revenge porn’ in England and Wales last year

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Exclusive: FoI requests reveal 541 police-reported cases of sharing explicit images with intent to harm

More than 500 children were victims of so-called ‘revenge pornography’ in England and Wales last year, new data shows shared with the Guardian

Freedom of information requests revealed that 541 underage victims of the offense – distributing sexually explicit images or videos with intent to cause harm – were reported to 36 police forces in England and Wales between January and December 2019

360 more children and youth were suspected, fueling concerns over the scale of the problem of child revenge pornography on other children

While the average age of the victims was 15, they also included a child aged eight, 10 and 11, as well as a teenager from Essex who came forward three times as a victim

« These numbers are of real concern because these are the incidents that reach the police, while many other examples of this mean and abusive behavior will not, » said Sarah Green, director of the Coalition to End violence against women

Green called for appropriate care and support for the victims, who are predominantly girls, the consequences of which can be devastating, from bullying to mental health issues and even leaving school

Among revenge porn suspects accused of leaking private sex photos or videos with intent to cause distress, the average age was again 15, but included a 10-year-old in Greater Manchester

The youngest victim lived in Derbyshire, but the highest number of reports were made in the Metropolitan Police area where more than 124 victims came forward and 167 suspects were reported

The findings of a series of Freedom of Information requests, filed by media literacy charity The Student View, have raised concerns about the delayed implementation of the new program of relationship studies and sex education (CSR) in England

The new compulsory curriculum was due to start in September, but schools were allowed, if necessary, to delay its introduction for up to two terms due to the disruption caused by the coronavirus

Maggie Bradford, Policy and Public Affairs Officer at NSPCC, said: “One third of all child sexual abuse is perpetrated by other children Non-consensual sharing of sexual videos and images is much of this problem and can leave young people feeling guilty, ashamed or totally humiliated

« But sexual abuse is never the victim’s fault and it is essential that children can express themselves and get support without judgment if they are concerned that an image has been shared without their permission »

Bradford continued: “Over the next academic year, for the first time, all students should receive lessons in relationships and sex and it is essential that they understand that they and their peers have the right to be treated with dignity and respect

« This key message needs to echo throughout the school so that all students know that consent is as important in the digital world as it is face to face »

Last month it emerged that the UK’s revenge porn hotline, which supports adult victims, had the busiest year on record, with experts predicting the number of images processed will increase 60% this year

The helpline saw cases almost double in April compared to the same month last year, from 122 to 242 But while the number of cases has declined slightly since April, they remain higher than in any previous year, prompting activists to warn of a ‘new normal blockade’ of posts

Activists say those under the age of 18 are more reluctant to report incidents of revenge porn because they may feel responsible for sharing intimate images or videos with someone they trust

LaToya Ridge of the London Victims and Witness Service, run by Victim Support, said: “When it comes to revenge pornography, one of the biggest obstacles preventing young people from supporting a police investigation, or even seeking emotional support from us is fear of judgment

« Many young people may feel guilty or have even ‘let down their loved ones’ by sharing intimate pictures or videos with someone they trust Our message to the young people concerned is that you are the victim of a crime and that you have the right to « 

• NSPCC offers support for children on 0800 1111 and adults concerned about a child on 0808 800 5000 The National Association for People Abused in Childhood (Napac) offers support for adult survivors on 0808 801 0331

England and Wales

World News – UK – Over 500 child victims of ‘revenge porn’ in England and Wales last year



SOURCE: https://www.w24news.com/news/world-news-gb-over-500-child-victims-of-revenge-porn-in-england-and-wales-last-year/?remotepost=397428

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