Revenge porn: COVID pandemic has increased revenge porn offences by 329%

New data has shown that revenge porn has increased massively since the beginning of the pandemic—and there are no signs of it slowing down.

According to data released by the Metropolitan Police through a Freedom of Information (FOI) request, revenge porn has skyrocketed since the beginning of the coronavirus pandemic.

Victims between 10 and 17 years old have quadrupled

As it turns out, reports have increased by a staggering 329% over the last 13 months in the London region alone. The most shocking part, however, is that victims as young as 10 years old have also seen a massive increase over that same period of time. More specifically, cases of revenge porn in which underage people between 10 and 17 were victims have quadrupled.

Female reports, in particular, have risen to 749 cases compared to the 177 reported last year. Male reports have also seen an increase from 45 cases to 207. Senior Helpline Practitioner, Zara Ward, explains to the MailOnline that the reason behind this, though not yet fully proven, is believed to be directly linked to the effect the pandemic had on relationships:

We have seen a double increase in reports for intimate image abuse practically overnight during the Covid pandemic. This can be to do with a variety of reasons, though we can only postulate. Relationships were put under immense strain, leading to the breakdown of many couples.

And added:

Furthermore, the line between what was real and virtual became skewed. Several relationships were formed online last year as people spent more time at home, which meant sexual behaviour was happening virtually.

The worst is yet to come?

Revenge porn is a criminal offence that, when convicted to the highest degree, could see the perpetrator be sentenced to a maximum of two years in prison.

The most worrying part, according to Ward, is that this trend does not seem to be slowing down. In the contrary, numbers might only increase in the years to come. She explains:

We believe that prior to 2020 we were just seeing the tip of the iceberg. But now reports are further increasing - which have been propelled forward by the pandemic - they show no sign of slowing down.
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