A Dish Served Cold: Targeting Revenge in Revenge Pornography

Dymock, A. and Van Der Westhuizen, C. 2019. A Dish Served Cold: Targeting Revenge in Revenge Pornography. Legal Studies. 39 (3), pp. 361-377. https://doi.org/10.1017/lst.2018.27

TitleA Dish Served Cold: Targeting Revenge in Revenge Pornography
TypeJournal article
AuthorsDymock, A. and Van Der Westhuizen, C.

The introduction of Section 33 of the Criminal Justice and Courts Act 2015, criminalising the disclosure of private sexual images, has been seen as a welcome step forward for curbing this abuse of privacy and the harmful effects it has on victims. However, while Section 33 sidesteps any reference to ‘revenge pornography’, as the phenomenon has been termed in popular vernacular, little attention has been paid to the way in which narratives of revenge implicitly underpin and imbue the new offence, particularly its specific intent requirement. We argue this has serious implications for the treatment of Section 33 offences in the courts and for sentencing. Drawing on cross-disciplinary conceptualisations of revenge, its recent criminal-legal history, and examples of media and parliamentary rhetoric, we claim that despite innumerable attempts to turn debate on disclosure of private sexual images towards consent, harm and privacy, there lurks within these discourses an assumption that the victim must have done something to deserve the treatment she received. Until the multiple harms of disclosure of private sexual images are recognised and explicit recommendations are made that scrutiny of victims’ behaviour should normally be inadmissible, we argue that the offence offers little in the way of redress.

KeywordsRevenge Pornography
Criminal Justice
Gendered Violence
JournalLegal Studies
Journal citation39 (3), pp. 361-377
PublisherCambridge University Press
Accepted author manuscript
Digital Object Identifier (DOI)https://doi.org/10.1017/lst.2018.27
Web address (URL)https://www.cambridge.org/core/journals/legal-studies/article/dish-served-cold-targeting-revenge-in-revenge-pornography/A9C5B1910D42713877E959DF56D54ED7
Publication dates
Published27 Dec 2018
Published in printSep 2019

Permalink - https://westminsterresearch.westminster.ac.uk/item/qx80y/a-dish-served-cold-targeting-revenge-in-revenge-pornography

Share this

Usage statistics

82 total views
109 total downloads
0 views this month
4 downloads this month
These values are for the period from September 2nd 2018, when this repository was created

Export as