Wednesday, August 04, 2021
Call For Legal Help: 0800 612 7211

Ask your internet law question

Revenge porn case example

Advising clients on revenge porn and breach of privacy

In cases of online harassment, particularly cases which involve revenge or the threat of the publication of private images, it is important that every case is resolved in a careful manner which prioritises the safety of the victim to ensure the goal is met. Revenge porn is a form of harassment.

Many cases of revenge porn involve relationships who broke down, and which, in many cases, are embarrassing to the victim and possibly involving extra marital affairs. The victim of the revenge porn might find that they having to deal with the person they had a relationship with and also with his or her spouse, who have found out and they have become jealous and vengeful.

Revenge porn and harassment 

An example of a revenge porn case

Revenge porn and intimidation of the victim

Revenge porn and breach of privacy cease and desist letter

Revenge porn and breach of privacy legal action

Revenge porn and harassment

Revenge porn is form of harassment. In cases of harassment, it is therefore important to set the goals that you wish to attain, together with your solicitors, from the outset. It is likely that your goal would be the removal of the distressing content from the internet or from the possession of the harasser and to stop the harassment itself. This will hopefully result in a return to living a normal life without the continuous stress and burden of being harassed.

Thankfully, where the harassed person may feel powerless or at a loss, the law provides some assurance when the case is dealt with successfully. Often revenge porn cases involve intimate details of a relationship, perhaps ones which the victim isn't very proud of. Yet, the online harassment victim must comply with any requirements given by a solicitor in that there should be complete openness on both sides to make sure each detail of the case is met.

An example of a revenge porn case

Revenge porn is a type of harassment used by the perpetrator against the victim via the posting of images and videos on the internet. Your solicitor’s role is to help you eliminate all access and delete such content which may be causing the victim significant mental harm and humiliation. There are also various routes one may wish to consider when trying to resolve a case of revenge porn, albeit considering one route may offer the victim more security and reassurance than the other.

Jane called us for urgent help after a relationship breakdown with a married man called Simon, which has now resulted in her feeling fearful and harassed by him. Her main concern was risking her anonymity and the disclosure or private information about her relationship with Simon as well as the distribution of many images and videos that he has saved of her. During the time that they were together, private, and intimate content was shared between the pair in the form of images and videos which were sent over various social media platforms.

Following the breakdown in the relationship, where the pair ended the affair, Jane found herself to be a victim of online harassment and possibly revenge porn after Simon’s wife had found out about their affair. Both the wife and Simone were now harassing Jane. They have been sending her messages with her images with Simon to make sure that she is aware that they have them and could make sure of the images against her at any time.

Revenge porn and intimidation of the victim

Jane also found out that not only was it her who receiving these alarming explicit images via email and in the form of text messages from Simon and his wife, it is also her friends and family who are being sent this private content as well, so she automatically goes to the police for help. Jane, who works in the public service and is highly respected within her profession was extremely worried about further distribution of the intimate images and the facts of her affair with Simon. She is most worried about losing her anonymity whilst attempting to remove this highly intimidating scenario from her life.

One should also consider the emotional strain on all the parties involved in a case such as the one Jane has found herself in, which strengthens the urge to make the problem of the online harassment she is facing to disappear and to make the harassers accountable for their action. Although one could argue that Jane put herself in this situation due to the choices she made and the circumstances to which she associated herself with, this does not make her less of a victim or places any blame for the situation in her. In the eyes of the Law, Simon and his wife, by harassing Jane, are committing a criminal offence regardless, due to the sharing of these private images and videos of Jane as they are doing so without her consent with a clear intent to cause her harm, distress and humiliation.

It could be described that Jane is being held a ‘hostage’ by her ex-partner Simon, in that due to his possession and control to distribute her private images that he has to whoever he wants, it is understandable that she may feel a pressure and a rush to want to sort this matter out as soon as she can. At the point of seeking advice, there were two possible routes to resolve this matter for Jane via the legal system to which Jane may wish to consider, again although one may offer more reassurance and security than the other, it is not always feasible for all victims to pay various legal fees which is why it is important to consider all options available.

Revenge porn and breach of privacy cease and desist letter

Jane may be advised (again depending on the urgency and circumstances of her case) that sending a breach of privacy cease and desist letter to the defendant may be enough to stop the defendant from the online harassment due to the fear of being taken to court if they don’t stop harassing her. The content of the letter may advise the defendant that it is within their best interests to delete all existing images and videos of Jane from any hardware for example, and by way of contract the defendant will need to sign this letter. If later the defendant has been found guilty of not deleting this content of Jane, he may be held to be in breach of contract to which he may be sued.

This letter contract will still be legally binding for the duration of a lifetime, however Jane still needs to consider the worst case scenario and what may need to happen if Simon breaches the contract, she will then need to pay the legal fees of taking him to court. The advantage however of serving this letter initially will be that it can be done anonymously and will give the case the opportunity to be settled out of court.

Revenge porn and breach of privacy legal action

Jane may also be advised that she receives the highest form of protection from the courts and it would be in the form of issuing court proceedings against Simon via the means of a privacy injunction. This would mean that Simon would be bound to a legal promise to stop harassing Jane as well as entitle Jane to other remedies such as Simon paying her legal costs, as well as participating in what is known as the ‘delivery up’ of any stored videos and content of Jane to the lawyers.

If this privacy injunction were to be breached by Simon (and his ex-wife), he could  face legal action for contempt of court, an offence which carries a potential prison sentence . Upon consideration of the various ways to which Jane’s case can be dealt with, in order to fully ‘repair’ the situation, her safety and wellbeing must be the paramount consideration since this is an issue which may impact her for the rest of her life.

Being a victim of online harassment, any type of harassment is an extremely stressful experience. The humiliation for her family, and the loss of friends through no longer wishing to be associated with her for example, will surely be devastating. Thus, for all the reasons stated, this makes the urgency of resolving a case such as this a priority.

Get in touch today for more information, advice and support.

Call free 0800 612 7211

Contact Us