Petition for revenge porn to be made illegal receives 11,000 signatures

Petition for revenge porn to be made illegal receives 11,000 signatures
More than 11,000 people have signed the petition. File picture.

More than 11,000 people have signed a petition calling for 'revenge porn' to be made illegal at this time of writing.

Organisers say women in Ireland are targeted by image-based sexual abuse, which can cause serious harm.

They want to see those who record such material added to the sex offenders register and face a criminal conviction.

The petition states: "Image-based sexual abuse is still not a crime in Ireland. Image-based sexual abuse is a huge violation of privacy and is a continuum of revenge pornography, upskirting, cyber-flashing, and many more.

Many women in Ireland are constantly targeted and disproportionately affected by this resulting in severe repercussions, leading in some cases to suicide. 

Girls affected by image-based sexual abuse are often also victims of severe cyber-bullying and job losses because of this.

"Women in Ireland live in constant fear of having their most private pictures released without consent and even being recorded unknowingly. 

"Abusive partners will threaten women to stay with them or they will release their images causing them to stay trapped in abusive relationships.

"I am publically asking the Irish government for the Harassment, Harmful Communications and Related Offences Bill be signed into Irish law including that those guilty be added to the sex offenders register and face a criminal conviction which could see those convicted jailed for up to 7 years."

Last month Megan,23, the organiser of the petition spoke to the Irish Examiner about her experiences as a victim of 'revenge porn'. 

Megan, whose last name was withheld described 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."

Former Labour leader Brendan Howlin first proposed legislation making 'revenge porn' a criminal offence back in 2016. 

In the UK, 'revenge porn' has been a criminal offence since 2015. 

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