A relationship breakdown is widely reported as being one of the most stressful situations an individual can go through in their lifetime. Whilst a breakdown of an unhealthy, or sometimes referred to as ‘toxic’ relationship is of course a good thing, unfortunately an ex-partner can react in ways which can be detrimental to not just someone’s physical wellbeing, but their emotional wellbeing also.

In the age of social media, and easily accessible applications at the touch of a screen, it is all too easy for someone to share photographs, videos and information with friends and the greater world wide web – such as this article. The difficulty is, this also makes it easy for ex-partners to threaten to reveal intimate pictures and/or videos which may be in their possession, by way of exerting control over the victim, or even pursuing that threat as a method of revenge. Unfortunately, this is yet another example of the darkness surrounding social media, and the difficulties individuals across the UK face. It is accepted that it is extremely normal for intimate photos of videos to be shared with partners and loved ones, but it is of course unacceptable for these things to be shared elsewhere, particularly without consent.

Revenge porn, as it is commonly known – although is not the legal name for such an offence –  is defined as “disclosing private sexual photographs and films with intent to cause distress” under Section 33 of the Criminal Justice and Courts Act 2015.

This act is an offence whether the images or videos are shown to someone else, shared with others via social media, email or any other form of communication, and sadly during the Covid-19 pandemic, cases of revenge porn have increased substantially. Cases such as this have a detrimental impact on an individual’s emotional and psychological wellbeing, and in the age of social media, this can have damning consequences on a person’s individual livelihood.

Many cases of revenge porn follow a breakdown in a previous intimate relationship, and as such, there is an opportunity to apply to the Family Court for a non-molestation Order. A non-molestation Order can be made against an ‘associated person’. An ‘associated person’ includes any former spouses or cohabitees, current spouses and cohabitees.

A Non-Molestation Order is a protective order, which prohibits particular behaviour or general molestation by someone who has previously been violent towards the applicant.

This order can also be obtained to deal with revenge porn, preventing the individual from further sharing or disclosing the material in their possession – a way of emotionally abusing, or exerting control over, the applicant. If the application is successful, and the Judge is minded to make the Order sought, any breaches of the Order is a criminal offence.

We can help

Depending on the applicant’s financial situation, Legal Aid may be available. If you believe you have been a victim of revenge porn, and wish to discuss your legal options, then please call 01522 561029 or use the online chat and ask to speak to a member of the domestic abuse team, who will deal with your enquiry sensitively and with the utmost respect.

Whatever your situation we can provide immediate support and advice to you. We have vast experience in dealing with these matters, so please do not hesitate to contact us today for help.

Don’t be a victim contact us NOW on our 24hr helpline number 07739 748 675.

We can arrange to speak to you at a safe time to provide specialised advice.

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