Representational image (iStock)Representational image (iStock)

By Pramod Thomas

RECENT figures published by various charities suggest that the so-called ‘revenge porn’ is on the rise in the UK during the lockdown.

Campaigners against this ‘humiliation’ said that around 2,050 reports were made to a government-funded helpline during lockdown, up by 22 per cent in the same period last year.

Besides, the study by domestic violence charity Refuge has found out that one in seven young women has received threats that intimate photos will be shared without their consent.

By definition, revenge porn is the distribution of sexually explicit images or videos of individuals without their consent.

Sharing pornography without consent is illegal in England, Scotland and Wales.

Though the government eased many of the coronavirus related restrictions recently, cases in connection with revenge porn still remain high, experts said.

There have been more cases of non-consensual pornography reported to a dedicated UK helpline so far this year than in all of 2019. And two-thirds of cases reported to the helpline involve women.

The helpline is run by the charity South West Grid for Learning (SWGfL), part of the UK Safer Internet Centre.

It has helped remove 22,515 images this year, majority of them were reported by victims.

Experts in the field point out that revenge porn must be taken just as seriously as abuse in ‘real life’.

“Disclosing private sexual images – or threatening to do so – is a common form of abuse, and is particularly harming young women,” Women’s Aid’s Lucy Hadley told the BBC.

Domestic violence also increased during the lockdown as 60 per cent of survivors living with their abuser said the situation became worse during covid-19 induced lockdown.