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Revenge Porn Helpline

U.K. Sets Up Revenge Porn Help Line

A new help line is the U.K.'s latest move against those who publish private explicit images and video online. Revenge porn is illegal in the U.K.

By Evan Thomas | February 8, 2015

Victims of revenge porn in the United Kingdom now have a new resource to help them fight back.

Revenge porn is the publishing of sexually explicit content — typically images and video — without the subject's consent. In some cases, victims are asked to pay to have the material removed. (Video via KGTV)

The nonprofit South West Grid for Learning has a new help line that works with law enforcement and websites to remove that content and will put victims in touch with lawyers.

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In an article published Sunday, The Guardian counted 30 sites in the U.K. dedicated to sharing the material. It calls the help line the latest in a "concerted push to tackle the growing problem" of revenge porn.

Most significantly, new legislation in the U.K. makes revenge porn a criminal offense, punishable by up to two years in prison.

The U.K.'s justice secretary Chris Grayling said, "It is crucial that victims have the confidence to report this kind of disgusting behaviour and the new offence will make sure perpetrators are properly punished."

Law enforcement officials were told to expect a flood of complaints as the new law went into effect.

In the U.S., legal recourse is trickier. At the moment, laws that criminalize revenge porn are managed on a state-by-state basis. (Video via CBS)

According to data from the National Conference of State Legislators, 13 states had laws specifically banning it as of 2014. Another 13 states had introduced similar legislation.

There is some federal attention: The Federal Trade Commission recently brought and then settled a case against one revenge porn website operator who was extracting profits from victims.

Another site operator was arrested, but federal prosecutors charged him with email hacking rather than running a revenge porn website.

According to National Journal, Rep. Jackie Speier from California introduced legislation last year that would outlaw the practice, but the bill never gained momentum.

This video includes images from Getty Images.

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