Lately the news has been full of striking examples of how the Internet has been turned into a potent tool to abuse women; providing perpetrators with the anonymity to remotely stalk, harass, extort or post indecent images that are instantly available to the world and extremely difficult to take down. The UK Crown Prosecution Service noted in a recent report, detailing a record increase in the number of people prosecuted for violence against women and girls, that the use of the Internet to target women is a common motif.

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Women have typically borne the burden of childcare within the child’s first year, often resulting in temporary or permanent disruption to their careers.  To minimise this female-gendered burden, the UK’s Parental Leave policy, previously reserved for mothers only, has now been formally amended to include fathers. The new Shared Parental Leave and Pay policy, which went into effect in April, enables both parents to participate on equal terms.

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Today the Guardian released a video telling the story of our client, YouTube sensation Chrissy Chambers.  She  became a victim of revenge pornography when her English ex-boyfriend published surreptitiously-filmed videos of a sexual encounter with her online.  She did not know that the videos had been taken and did not find out that they existed or had been posted online until tens of thousands of people had already seen them.  This was a fundamental violation of her human rights and caused Chrissy damage psychologically, in her relationships and in her work.

I represent Chrissy because I think we must fight back against the harm caused when a person is violated in this way.  While the new law criminalizing revenge pornography in England and Wales represents progress, it doesn’t cover the images of Chrissy, which were posted before the law was passed.  We have to use other legal avenues to help her.  We need to find a way to ensure that people like Chrissy not only have the protection of the criminal law, but also are able to access civil remedies and obtain compensation for the cruel damage caused when people deliberately use the power of the internet to embarrass and humiliate.  This is why we continue to fight.

Watch the video here.