Those who share intimate images without consent – often described as “revenge porn” – could be prosecuted under a new law passed today by the Scottish Parliament.
The Abusive Behaviour and Sexual Harm (Scotland) Bill introduces a specific offence of sharing or threatening to share private, intimate images.
The Bill will also require courts to consider domestic abuse as an aggravating factor when sentencing offenders and ensures that child sexual offences committed in England and Wales by Scottish residents can be prosecuted in Scotland.
The law will also require juries in sexual offence cases to be given specific directions that a delay in reporting an offence or a lack of physical resistance do not indicate that the allegation is false.
Commenting, Kenneth Gibson MSP said:
“This is a wide ranging law that will improve justice for victims of crime.
“Technology has increased the ease with which people can share intimate photos without consent. This can be an abusive, extremely distressing crime and it is right that prosecutors will now be able to draw upon a specific offence.
“It is also hugely significant that juries in sexual offence cases will be directed by judges that a delay in reporting or a lack of physical resistance does not indicate that the allegation is false.
“This Bill is a huge step forward in improving our approach to a wide range of abusive and sexual offences, helping make Scotland a safer, more just place in which to live.”