Revenge pornography is legally defined as sharing private sexual materials with the intent to cause distress. The charity ‘UK Safer Internet Centre’ noted a drastic rise in reports of revenge porn in 2020 with there being a 63% increase in August 2020 compared to that of August 2019.
In December 2020, it was revealed that reality star, Stephen Bear, had been arrested following allegations that he had shared a private sexual video of his ex-girlfriend, Georgia Harrison, on the internet without her consent. It is alleged that Stephen covertly recorded sexual activity with Georgia through his CCTV cameras, which connected directly to his mobile phone. He then, reportedly, shared the video on Whatsapp and the website ‘Only Fans.’ This has resulted in the arrest of Stephen on the grounds of suspicion of disclosing private sexual images or film without consent with intent to cause distress, voyeurism, harassment and obstructing a police officer. Stephen now remains on bail until his impending court date later in February.
The knock-on effects for victims of this heinous act are countless, with some victims saying they could not escape the feeling of being powerless, ashamed, violated and disgusted. Georgia was initially reluctant to report the incident to the police and to bring action against Stephen. However, as stated on Georgia’s social media account she realised that she has “nothing to be ashamed about” and she “was on private property with someone” she “had been with multiple times and trusted/was in love with.”
A recent survey found that 1 in 10 people have been victim to revenge porn at some point in their lives. The ever-increasing presence of technology and social media in our day to day lives in addition to the effects of the lockdown restrictions on intimate relationships has resulted in revenge porn being hailed “the new normal.” Experts suggest that the national lockdown has meant that individuals are more inclined to share private sexual content due to the inability to engage in face-to-face relationships. This has simultaneously resulted in more perpetrators abusing trust and sharing the content on the internet with a complete disregard to the long-term psychological damage that this may cause to victims.
Victims of revenge pornography often have the right to bring damages claims. If you have been a victim of revenge pornography and are looking to pursue a claim for compensation, please contact one of our specialist revenge pornography solicitors on 0330 134 6430 or contact us by email.