The government launched a helpline yesterday to support victims of ‘revenge porn’.

The helpline, run by the South West Grid for Learning Trust, will provide callers with information on legal help available and their right to have the images removed from websites.

Operators will liaise with law enforcement and media companies to remove content where possible, and offer details of free legal advice. It will also point individuals to additional support services, such as Women’s Aid, Stalking helpline or Relate if needed.

Minister for Women and Equalities Nicky Morgan said: “Circulating intimate photos of someone without their consent is never acceptable, and we need to educate people to the dangers of sending intimate images, and to the hurt that sharing them causes.”

Folami Prehaye, founder of revenge porn support website http://www.voic.org.uk said: “As a victim I felt isolated and embarrassed by what had happened to me. If there was a helpline around at the time of my crime at least I could have talked to someone in confidence about how I was feeling, and how coming forward has affected my confidence.

“I set up my website to offer support to victims who made contact with me, and to encourage other women to come forward to raise their concerns and speak up about this crime. Now this helpline will help everyone that needs support and advice.”

Justice Secretary Chris Grayling said:
“Victims told us they wanted more to be done to tackle revenge porn – and we listened.

“We have changed the law to make it clear that people who maliciously distribute intimate pictures of their former partners without their consent face a prison sentence.”

This announcement comes ahead of tomorrow’s Safer Internet Day (10 February) which aims to promote safer and more responsible use of technology, especially amongst children and young people.

The government is introducing a specific offence of revenge pornography, covering the distribution of a private sexual image of someone without their consent and with the intent to cause distress.

Those convicted will face a maximum sentence of two years in prison.

The phone number for the helpline is: 0845 6000 459

Further information is available online at: http://www.revengepornhelpline.org.uk

This is a pilot helpline which will run up to March 2016.

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