MSPs back new law to beat ‘revenge porn’ crimes

Picture: PA
Picture: PA
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MSPs have backed plans for a new offence to address the “enormously hurtful and humiliating” impact of so-called revenge porn.

Holyrood’s Justice Committee has supported the general principles of the Scottish Government’s Abusive Behaviour and Sexual Harm Bill, which aims to improve how the justice system responds to abuse, harassment and sexual harm.

The Bill will create an offence of sharing private intimate images without consent, with a maximum penalty of five years’ imprisonment.

MSPs received evidence of the “devastating” effect such behaviour could have on people’s lives.

The Bill also includes a requirement for judges to give juries specific directions when dealing with sexual offence cases, designed to improve juries’ understanding of sexual violence and domestic abuse.

This relates to the question of why a victim might not report or resist an offence at the time it was committed.

READ MORE: Lord Advocate urges revenge porn jail sentences

The majority of MSPs on the committee backed the proposal, with some calling for more research on use of the directions by juries.

A Scottish Government spokeswoman said: “We will carefully consider the recommendations in the report, and look forward to the Bill coming before Parliament.”