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‘Revenge porn’ victims given new support in Belgium

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People in Belgium who have been a victim of “revenge porn” will soon have another method to seek legal action against perpetrators in a confidential way.

The Institute for the Equality of Women and Men (IEFH) will see its legal competence extended on Wednesday to support victims of revenge pornography, the institute said in a statement Tuesday. It will thus be able to give confidential advice to victims of porn revenge or take legal action.

Pornographic revenge or “revenge porn” consists of disseminating sexually explicit images of a person without their permission, explains the IEFH. These images may or may not have been made with the victim’s consent. The dissemination of these pornographic images often has a malicious purpose, to hurt, punish or silence the victim.

The victims are mainly women

“This practice also occurs in the context of violence between partners,” says the IEFH, which notes that the vast majority of victims are women.

As of 1 July, victims will now be able to turn to the organisation, which will be able to advise them confidentially or take the matter to court. The penal code has also been adapted, providing for more severe penalties, including a fine of up to €15,000 and a prison sentence.

While the institute “welcomes this new competence,” in the words of its director, Michel Pasteel, quoted in the press release, “the powers have been constantly extended in recent years. We are dealing with more and more cases, so we also need more resources. We hope that the next government will pay attention to this need so that we can properly assume our responsibilities,” argues the IEFH.

The Brussels Times

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