Started 1 petition
Close the 'Rape Pornography' Loophole
What is ‘rape pornography’? In 2011, after being alerted to the existence of websites devoted to 'rape pornography' Rape Crisis South London conducted research into the freely available content on ‘rape porn’ websites. We found many of the videos’ themes to be endorsing and promoting various criminal acts including kidnapping, additional physical violence and child sexual abuse. These images are explicitly defining themselves as being rape, non-consensual or forced sex. Our research found video descriptions like 'young schoolgirls abducted and cruelly raped. Hear her screams.'; 'little schoolgirl raped by teacher' and 'little girls cruelly raped at home'; 'tiny girl sleep rape' and 'girl raped at gunpoint'. The websites hosting the content included words like brutal rape, real rape, savage rape, only rape, in their web address. There is no grey area here. The viewers of these sites are encouraged to believe these images are real, that they are watching ‘real rape’. The loophole in legislation means that alongside images of rape, simulations of incest and child sexual abuse are freely, legally accessible in England and Wales as long as all participants in the image can be identified through digital imaging as being 18 or over, regardless of young appearance or contextual factors. What’s the loophole? Since 1959, it has been illegal to publish pornographic “portrayals of rape” in the UK, but pornographic rape material is legally available online as it is uploaded abroad and outside UK jurisdiction. The 2008 Extreme Pornography legislation aimed to simply close this loophole but when finalised, it did not extend to rape depictions. By adding the straightforward criteria of “rape or other non-consensual penetrative sexual activity” to the legislation (as done in Scotland), anyone in possession of such images would be committing an offence and the Internet Watch Foundation could act to restrict or block access to sites. What do we want? We are calling for urgent action on the legislation on Extreme Pornography in England and Wales. We have been working with Law Professors at Durham University who have drafted an amendment to the law. We want your support in closing this loophole through raising awareness of its existence and showing public outrage that such material is inexcusably beyond the law on extreme pornography. Help us tell Westminister we want this loophole closed immediately.