Taking, making and sharing intimate images without consent

Four new offences

  • A “base” offence which prohibits the taking or sharing of an intimate image of a depicted person where they do not consent and there is no reasonable belief in consent by the perpetrator.
  • Two more serious offences:
  • Taking or sharing an intimate image without the consent of the depicted person, with the intention to humiliate, alarm or distress the victim.
  • Taking or sharing an intimate image, without the consent of the depicted person and the perpetrator having no reasonable belief in consent, for the purpose of either their own or someone else’s sexual gratification.

Victim anonymity and protections

Victims of the new intimate image abuse offences would have lifetime anonymity as well as automatic eligibility for special measures (such as giving evidence via a live link or behind a screen at trial).

On conviction, where a sufficiently serious offence has been committed for the purpose of sexual gratification, a sentencing court would be required to add the offender to the ‘sex offenders’ register’.

Sexual Harm Prevention Orders would also be available in appropriate cases where the courts consider it necessary to protect the public or particular members of the public from sexual harm.

Scope of intimate images

In addition to the existing behaviours which are currently criminalised, namely the disclosure of private sexual images, upskirting and voyeurism, our proposals would include the following forms of intimate image abuse:

  • Sharing an altered image – including sexualised photoshopping and deepfake pornography.
  • Downblousing – taking an image, usually from above, down a female’s top.
  • Sharing an intimate image of the depicted person with the depicted person.
  • Recording or streaming rapes or sexual assaults.
  • Sextortion – threatening to share an intimate image to extort the victim for money or more images (or both).
  • https://www.lawcom.gov.uk/project/taking-making-and-sharing-intimate-images-without-consent/

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