Bill to outlaw revenge porn must be prioritised by new government, says Howlin

Bill to outlaw revenge porn must be prioritised by new government, says Howlin
Brendan Howlin at Leinster House. Picture: Gareth Chaney/Collins

A private member's bill that would outlaw revenge porn and "upskirting" must be prioritised by the new government, says Labour's Brendan Howlin.

The party's justice spokesperson was responding to the testimony of a woman who shared her story in the Irish Examiner.

Megan, 23, spoke to the publication about the harrowing moment when she discovered that sexual images and videos of her were shared on social media three years ago.

“I was a victim of revenge porn in 2016, when I was 19," she said.

"I had my photos and videos shared, it was sent to thousands of people. It was put all over Facebook. It was shown to my friends and family.

“It was shown to my grandparents and everything. It was horrible to have your family seeing you in such a compromising position."

Mr Howlin tabled the Harmful Communications and Related Offences Bill more than two years ago and responding to Megan’s “brave testimony” he said it must be a priority.

“I want to commend the bravery of Megan who shared with us her shocking and horrible experience of revenge porn in the Irish Examiner,” he said.

“It clearly illustrates the urgent need for changes in the law and I’ve been seeking this for over three years now. Image based sexual abuse is a serious issue that must be adequately addressed with updated criminal law.

“The new government has agreed to continue to implement my Harassment, Harmful Communications and Related Offences Bill and I will be seeking rapid progress on it now.

“Since I first published this draft law I have been taken aback at the many stories shared with me by families, victims and survivors of bullying and abuse online.

“It’s time now for action from new government."

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