Suffolk police deal with 100 cases of revenge porn - with youngest victim just 12 years old

Cases of Revenge Porn havve increased in Suffolk, despite campaigns such as 'be aware b4 you share'.

Cases of Revenge Porn havve increased in Suffolk, despite campaigns such as 'be aware b4 you share'. Picture: MINISTRY OF JUSTICE - Credit: Ministry of Justice

Online safety campaigners in Suffolk have been “shocked and saddened” by figures showing children as young as 12 are falling victim to “revenge porn”.

Pictured at the launch of the Suffolk Community Foundation's online safety campaign. Left to right,

Pictured at the launch of the Suffolk Community Foundation's online safety campaign. Left to right, Emma Bond and Suffolk Police and Crime Commissioner Tim Passmore. Picture: GREGG BROWN - Credit: Gregg Brown

Figures released by Suffolk Constabulary, following a Freedom of Information request, show more than 100 such offences were recorded in the last three years – with 11 people charged.

Revenge porn is the disclosure of sexual photos or films to cause distress – and is a growing problem. Advances in technology and use of social media have made it easier to take and distribute images, leading to an upsurge in problems such as sexting, online grooming and revenge porn.

Suffolk figures show the annual number of revenge porn offences more than doubled since 2015/16.

With young people among the most avid users of social media, children are also being affected.


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The FOI shows the youngest victim of revenge porn in the county was just 12 years old.

Suffolk police and crime commissioner Tim Passmore, who introduced a £100,000 Stay Safe Online Fund to help organisations support young people, said it was a “serious concern”.

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“I find it both sad and shocking that a child as young as 12 can be a victim of such terrible things as revenge porn,” he added. “While the digital world has brought many benefits, unfortunately this amazing innovation is increasingly being used to commit serious harm. Whilst the number of crimes reported are relatively low, it does ring alarm bells with me. Our young people are in serious danger of being groomed or bullied online, and they can be criminalised as a result of sharing explicit images so we need to do all we can to protect them.”

Emma Bond, an expert in online safety from the University of Suffolk, who helped launch the county’s Stay Safe Online campaign, said revenge porn had “devastating personal consequences” - leading to humiliation, embarrassment and more abuse. “The psychological and emotional impact of revenge porn is only just beginning to be understood,” she added.

“Victims commonly describe the impact of their lives as ‘it has ruined my life’ and many refer to suicide, depression, fear, poor self-confidence, lack of trust, being scared to go out and post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). Often there can also be professional consequences as people have had to leave their job because of embarrassment after photos have been shared or because they are frightened by a threat that images will be published.”

While there is evidence revenge porn is becoming more widespread, Professor Bond said the actual number was hard to quantify as it was often used as a form of domestic abuse and therefore went unreported.

People can contact The National Revenge Pornography Helpline via revengepornhelpline.org.uk/ or on 0345 6000 459.

•The University of Suffolk is also working to raise awareness of revenge pornography. Laura Higgins from the National Revenge Porn Helpline will be speaking at the University of Suffolk on May 10 at the Virtual Violence Conference – email k.tyrrell@uos.ac.uk to find out about attending.

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