• Clodagh Meaney

Petition calls for criminalisation of 'revenge porn' after legislation was put on hold last year

Ireland are behind the UK on the issue after laws surrounding revenge porn were established in England and Wales in 2015.


A petition calling for the criminalisation of revenge porn in Ireland has begun gaining traction online.


The petition addressed to the Department of Justice, calls for the criminalisation of image-based sexual abuse, something Ireland is five years and counting behind the United Kingdom on.


The UK Government criminalised revenge porn in England and Wales 2015, and more recently last month brought in legislation which outlaws threats to share revenge porn.


In a statement, the petition founder Megan Jr said: "Image-based sexual abuse is still not a crime in Ireland. Image-based sexual abuse is a huge violation of privacy and is a continuum of revenge pornography, up-skirting, cyber-flashing, and many more."


"Many women in Ireland are constantly targeted and disproportionately affected by this resulting in severe repercussions, leading in some cases to suicide," they explained.


"Girls affected by image-based sexual abuse are often also victims of severe cyber-bullying and job losses because of this."


The petition states that women in Ireland live in "constant fear of having their most private pictures released without consent and even being recorded unknowingly."


Current law also allows for coercive control using intimate sexual images.


"Abusive partners will threaten women to stay with them or they will release their images causing them to stay trapped in abusive relationships."


The petition highlighted the case of Dara Quigley who died by suicide after a member of An Gardaí Síochána shared a video of the 39-year-old walking naked on Harcourt Street, Dublin in 2017.

The incident was captured on CCTV and then recorded by a Garda on their personal phone before they shared the video into a WhatsApp group where it was then re-shared before reaching Facebook.


The Garda accused has not faced criminal charges for the incident.


Last May, the Cabinet approved The Harassment, Harmful Communications and Related Offences Bill.


The legislation is based on a 2016 Law Reform Commission report which recommended the outlaw of revenge porn, as well as up-skirting, however it is yet to be signed into law.


If you have been affected by any of the themes in this article, please reach out:

Women's Aid - 1800 341 900

Read more: UK domestic violence charity campaign to criminalise revenge porn threats

Read more: This is why over 1 million people have signed a petition to shut down Pornhub

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