Revenge porn

Revenge porn is sexually explicit media that is publicly shared online without the consent of the pictured individual with the intent to shame or embarrass the individual.

It is currently not specifically outlawed in the UK, but as was suggested in a commons adjournment debate[1] there are several existing laws that may be applicable.

In October 2014 the Crown Prosecution Service issued guidance[2] that current legislation (including Malicious Communications Act 1988, Communications Act 2003/Section 127) may currently be used to prosecute "revenge pornography" cases.

A proposed amendment (withdrawn)[3] to the Criminal Justice and Courts Bill in July 2014 which would have created a specific offence. In October 2014 justice secretary Chris Grayling MP announced another amendment to the bill[4][5] (as well as an earlier amendment[6] proposed by Lib Dems). It is now covered by Section 33 of the 2015 Act.

Disclosing private sexual photographs and films with intent to cause distress
(1) It is an offence for a person to disclose a private sexual photograph or film if the disclosure is made—
(a) without the consent of an individual who appears in the photograph or film, and
(b) with the intention of causing that individual distress.
(2) But it is not an offence under this section for the person to disclose the photograph or film to the individual mentioned in subsection (1)(a) and (b).


The first "revenge porn" case to be pursued (prior to the change in the law) ended with the conviction of Luke King in November 2014 under the Protection from Harassment Act 1997[7].

See also


  1. Hansard, 2014-06-19
  2. Crown Prosecution Service offers clear guidance for prosecutors on 'revenge pornography', CPS. 2014-10-06
  3. Hansard, 2014-07-21
  4. New law to tackle revenge porn, GOV.UK, 2014-10-12
  5. Amendments to be moved on report 2014-10-14 "Disclosing private sexual photographs and films with intent to cause distress"
  6. Amendments to be moved on report, 2014-10-11
  7. Luke King jailed for WhatsApp 'revenge porn', BBC News, 2014-11-14