Ross calls for legislation to tackle ‘revenge porn’

MLA Alastair Ross.

MLA Alastair Ross.

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East Antrim MLA Alastair Ross has expressed his disappointment that Justice Minister David Ford does not intend to introduce a new offence for those who would share private sexual images of someone without their consent and with the intention of causing them distress.

The DUP man, who is chair of the Justice Committee, said: “It is a sad reflection on society that we are seeing an increase of incidents where people share private sexual images of a former partner online. This so-called ‘revenge porn’ is done without consent and can cause untold stress and anxiety to those affected.

“In England and Wales there is now a specific offence to outlaw the distribution of private sexual images of someone without their consent.

“It is unfortunate that the Department of Justice in NI does not intend on introducing similar measures here. If the Department is not willing to move on this issue, the committee may well look at bringing forward our own amendment to ensure that people who have private sexual images of themselves distributed by others without consent are offered the same protections as those in England and Wales.”