Scottish Parliament passes law to beat revenge porn surge

Abusive Behaviour and Sexual Harm Bill was passed at Holyrood. Picture: Kenny Smith

Abusive Behaviour and Sexual Harm Bill was passed at Holyrood. Picture: Kenny Smith

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Holyrood has passed new legislation on abusive behaviour which makes “revenge porn” a criminal offence.

The Abusive Behaviour and Sexual Harm Bill tackles the way modern technology can be used to perpetrate abuse, creating a new offence of sharing private intimate images without consent.

It also modernises criminal law and strengthens powers for the police, prosecutors and courts to take action against perpetrators of domestic abuse, harassment and sexual offences. Under the new law, judges will be required to give juries specific directions when dealing with sexual offence cases, designed to improve juries’ understanding of sexual violence, which is a known barrier to access to justice for victims.

A new statutory domestic abuse aggravator will also be introduced to ensure courts take domestic abuse into account when sentencing an offender.

The bill ensures that child sexual offences committed in England and Wales by Scottish residents can be prosecuted in Scotland.

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