#MyImageMyChoice! Change laws on sharing private images without consent

#MyImageMyChoice! Change laws on sharing private images without consent

10 December 2020
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Signatures: 45,716Next Goal: 50,000
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Why this petition matters

Our private images were leaked without our consent. But the police and law did not support us. Instead, we were blamed and disregarded.

Intimate image abuse like deepfakes, sextortion, and “revenge porn” can have devastating and even life threatening impacts. But laws in England & Wales are out-of-date and failing victims. No laws cover deepfake or downblouse images. No laws cover threats to share. No laws cover cases where the perpetrator acted for entertainment, profit, or coercion. You could even get off charges by saying ‘I did it for a laugh’. 

My name is Ellesha. When my ex-partner uploaded non-consensual intimate videos of me to PornHub, I reported him to the police. I learned he had an extensive record for offences against women, but my case was dropped. The police said I couldn’t prove my ex intended to cause distress, and questioned my story, morals and character. I was devastated. 

And my name is Ruby. On one day in June me and 30 women from my hometown discovered our private images on a forum and all individually alerted the police. They responded with victim-blaming, apathy and incompetence. 

We don’t want anyone else to go through what we did. So we’ve set up the campaign #MyImageMyChoice, calling on the government to act. This is vital right now as this abuse has exploded over lockdown.

First, we urgently need to close loopholes in our criminal law.  As 'Shattering lives and myths: a report on image-based sexual abuse’ (McGlynn et al) proposes, we’re calling for laws to:

  1. Recognise image-based sexual abuse as a sexual offence
  2. Extend automatic anonymity to all complainants
  3. Cover all forms of this abuse including threats and fake media
  4. Remove motive requirements (often impossible to prove)
  5. Extend civil legal aid to cover legal advice for these offences

But criminal law alone won’t solve this problem. That's why we need better policy on education, enforcement, platform responsibility, and funding for victim services. 

We should all have a right to privacy and agency over images of our bodies. Please respond to the Law Commission's live consultation (link in @myimagemychoice bio). And please share this petition and call on lawmakers to give intimate image abuse victims the protection and justice they deserve. 

Thank you, Ellesha, Ruby and #MyImageMyChoice

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Signatures: 45,716Next Goal: 50,000
Support now