Jef McAllister interviewed by BBC on anonymity in revenge porn cases

 

BBC Look North interviewed our Managing Partner Jef McAllister about a recent national campaign to secure anonymity for victims of revenge porn like victims of other sexual offenses. A North Yorkshire survivor, whose ex-boyfriend was the first to be convicted under the new revenge porn law, is leading the effort. Our firm campaigned for the law that made revenge porn a crime. Jef McAllister commented that allowing victims to be anonymous would easily be possible and would help them feel confident the law was on their side.

McAllister added that while anonymity may offer some peace to victims, more reforms are needed to stop the repeated circulation of abusive images on the Internet.  He believes those who continue to disseminate these images, for example spreading them from one "revenge porn" site to another, should also be criminally liable. He concluded by emphasising the importance of civil proceedings so that "some of the harm that's done," for example the cost of psychological counselling, "gets paid for by the perpetrator."

We at McAllister Olivarius believe that since revenge porn is a crime of a sexual nature, the right to anonymity for the complainant—as established in chapter 1 of the Sexual Offences (Amendment) Act 1992—should apply to criminal cases, and to possible civil proceedings as well. The whole point of revenge porn is to humiliate the victim by spreading intimate images to the world; having to prosecute using your own name simply gives the harassment more publicity and new life. We are most thankful to the Yorkshire survivor, and to North Yorkshire Police and Crime Commissioner Julia Mulligan, for raising this issue.

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