• 02:33
  • 16.12.2017
Revenge porn: What is the law in the UK after Blac Chyna and Rob Kardashian legal fight?
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15.12.2017

Revenge porn: What is the law in the UK after Blac Chyna and Rob Kardashian legal fight?

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Last week Rob Kardashian, sister of reality TV star Kim Kardashian, published explicit private pictures of the mother of his child Blac Chyna, 29, on Instagram and Twitter for nine million followers to see.

Rob, 30, posted three intimate images of Chyna, as well as private images of her just before going into surgery.

Since, Black Chyna has been granted a restraining order against the single male Kardashian, whom she was previously engaged to marry.
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In an interview with ABC news about the event, Chyna said: “I was devastated, of course, I’m like, how could somebody post these pictures of me?

“I’m like wow, okay, this is a person I trust in, I confide in, I feel comfortable sending these pictures and taking to him about certain things. I felt betrayed.”

On Friday Chyna’s attorney Lisa Bloom said: "Mr. Kardashian, you are now on notice: revenge porn is illegal. Cyberbullying your ex is harassment."
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"Chyna ended your relationship months ago and she has the right to live as she chooses, work as she chooses, dress as she chooses, and be intimate with who she chooses.

“Chyna and I both believe that this is an important women's rights issue, as too many women and girls have been slut-shamed by exes. It stops now.”

She then hinted the star would be taking further action, tweeting: “I represent Blac Chyna. I just gave Rob Kardashian notice that we'll be in court Monday seeking restraining orders against him. More to come.”
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She also told the Washington Post: "The main point of it is that even if Chyna sent him nude photos, if she didn’t want them posted publicly, the law protects her.” 

In the UK, the act of sharing sexually explicit images of someone without their consent with the intent of causing distress is known as revenge porn.

The fact that Blac Chyna has been granted a restraining order does not mean it has been proven that Rob Kardashian committed the crime of revenge porn. Those allegations remain untested.
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It is possible that Rob Kardashian may find himself hit by laws designed to punish the posting of sexually explicit images without consent in California.

However, what does the law say in the UK?

What is revenge porn?
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Revenge pornography is the act of sharing any sexually explicit images of someone without their consent, via any platform or medium, with the intent to distress.

More often than not this is carried out by a partner who is angry with the victim.

However, this is not a necessary factor in the crime.
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The crime could more accurately be described as non-consensual pornography.

Perpetrators do not need to be motivated by revenge and can be known to the victim in any capacity.

What is the law on revenge porn in the UK?
In terms of UK law, it is Section 33 of the Criminal Justice and Courts Act 2015 that makes it an offence to share private sexual photographs or films without consent on the individual depicted.

The maximum sentence is two years imprisonment and/or a fine.
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At the time former Justice Secretary Chris Grayling said on a government website: “The fact that there are individuals who are cruelly distributing intimate pictures of their former partners without their consent is almost beyond belief.

“We want those who fall victim to this type of disgusting behaviour to know that we are on their side and will do everything we can to bring offenders to justice.

“That is why we will change the law and make it absolutely clear to those who act in this way that they could face prison.”
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In Scotland revenge porn became a crime in April 2016 and in Northern Ireland in February 2016.

What can you do if you think you have been a victim of revenge porn?
Britons who think they have been victims of this crime should report it to the police.
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If you are in immediate danger you can call 999, however, if you are not in immediate danger you can report the crime using 101.

Rights of Women published guidelines addressing reporting revenge porn, which said: “Remember to take screen shots or print hard copies of the abusive posts or messages to show to the police. 

“Your abuser may later delete their messages or posts so your screenshots may be very important evidence.”
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If the perpetrator is known to you, either a partner or former partner, friend, housemate or relative, you can apply for a domestic violence injunction called a non-molestation order from the Family Court.

This will make it a crime for the perpetrator to contact or harass you again, and if they do this it can be reported to the police.

If you do not know them, Rights of Women advises: “If you are not associated to your abuser then you may still be able to obtain protection from the online harassment and abuse you are experiencing. 
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“You can apply to the court for an injunction against any person who has harassed or stalked you or put you in fear of violence by deliberately causing you distress on two or more occasions.”

While Rights of Women have published this information it is important to note that men can be victims of revenge porn and should also follow this advice if they feel they have been affected.

If you need further help you can contact the Revenge Porn Helpline, the UK’s only service dedicated to supporting victims of the crime.
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