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What happens when I report image based abuse to the police?

What happens when I report image based abuse to the police?

Imagine you have just arrived at work. You receive a text message from an ex-partner. They have intimate images of you and are threatening to send these to your place of work, family and closest friends. The message was sent over four hours ago. You feel an instant sense of panic. Have the people you work with already seen the images? You go online and search. Nothing. You try calling and texting your ex-partner. Nothing. You decide report this to the Police.

What are the chances that you will receive a positive response? A recent survey found that nine out of ten police officers and staff had received no formal training on how to investigate offences under Section 33 of the Criminal Justice and Courts Act (CJCA) 2015. Research found one in ten of cases reported to UK police forces resulted in a prosecution. A threat to share private sexual images or films without consent is not covered by the law in England and Wales (unlike Scotland) and people tell us at the Revenge Porn Helpline that reporting can be difficult as they are told it is not a crime. Yet we know from recent research that one in five domestic violence cases contained elements of image-based abuse.

In a series of short resource guides, I will use my background as a former Detective Inspector to examine how the application of the College of Policing ‘Thrive’ definition of vulnerability relates to these offences. I will also highlight how we can utilise existing legislation where there is a threat to share images and why we need to look beyond the obvious.

Full article coming soon!

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