Revenge porn, where a person uploads sexually explicit material of their ex-partner onto the internet without their permission, is on the rise in the UK according to charities and leading support groups.

The UK Safer Internet Centre, The National Stalking Helpline and Women’s Aid have all said the problem of revenge porn is escalating.

Some victims have even reported having their personal details published linking them to explicit pictures online.

Laura Higgins, helpline manager at the UK Safer Internet Centre, told the BBC her organisation has noticed a marked increase in instances over the past 12 months, according to an article on the Independent.

“What we’re getting is just the tip of the iceberg,” she said.”So many people are simply too embarrassed and humiliated to seek help or advice.

“There is legislation here in the UK but I don’t think it’s very co-ordinated. It depends very much on who your local police force are and whether your courts have had experience of dealing with these issues.”

Groups are now calling for the UK to enforce similar laws used to ban revenge porn in California, Texas and Utah.

In December last year, Kevin Bollaert was arrested in California for allegedly running revenge porn website UGotPosted, which invited people to submit sexually explicit images of their former lovers.

Politicians in New York are also campaigning for similar policies to be introduced.

The UK does not have specific legislation to combat the practice, although certain privacy and harassment laws can be applied if a person has committed more than one offence against their ex-partner.

York University student Heather Robertson began her own campaignto end the practice when a fellow student found explicit pictures of her had been uploaded onto Facebook and then onto a revenge porn website, and was unable to get them removed.

Ms Robertson is calling on David Cameron to recognise the practice as a sexual offence. Her petition has garnered 2,500 signatures, but needs 100,000 to spark a parliamentary debate.

“It should be encrypted into an act about privacy online, or in the sexual offenders act of sexual harassment act,” she told The Telegraph. “The idea is that the effect it has on your life should be recognised.”

In her petition, she writes: “Once these photos are online it is close to impossible to have them permanently removed as they are featured on so many sites, not only do victims have to come to terms with the fact that they will essentially be accessible for the foreseeable future, but they have no way of seeking justice from the malicious person that put them there.”

Read more: ‘REVENGE PORN’ NOW ILLEGAL IN CALIFORNIA
Read more: WE NEED NEW LAWS TO PUT A STOP TO REVENGE PORN


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