11-year-olds are victims of revenge porn

VICTIMS: Both Tulisa and Rihanna have been victims of revenge porn

VICTIMS: Both Tulisa and Rihanna have been victims of revenge porn

Share this article
1
Have your say

Children as young as 11 have been victims of revenge pornography, with their perpetrators often evading justice due to loopholes in the law, new figures show.

Campaigners and politicians have called for tough legislation to be introduced to tackle those who share naked images and videos without the victim’s consent.

Figures uncovered by the Press Association show that schoolgirls are among those targeted, while adults have been blackmailed into having sex with their tormentor after indecent – and previously private – images were posted on the internet. The matter has been brought into sharp focus after celebrities including pop stars Rihanna and Tulisa Contostavlos fell victim to the cruel craze.

But police are largely powerless to stop those responsible until new laws – due to pass through the Lords next month – are introduced to make revenge porn a crime.

There were 149 allegations of crimes involving revenge pornography during the last two-and-a-half years, according to the eight police forces in England and Wales with data on it. The figures, believed to be the first into its prevalence, show the vast majority of victims are women – with only six incidents resulting in any sort of police caution or charge.

Laura Higgins, manager of the UK Safer Internet Centre helpline, said: “I feel this is just the tip of the iceberg. Plenty of people, particularly young people, won’t want to go down the police route or even speak about them at all, so many incidents are going unnoticed.

“Our research shows that for every site we find, there are potentially dozens with those images on which the victim has no idea about. Children are becoming sexualised at a younger age.”