Revenge porn reports have soared during the pandemic after the number of offences increased by 329 per cent over a 13-month period in London – with some victims as young as ten.

The data, released by the Metropolitan Police through a Freedom of Information (FOI) request, showed the number of cases had risen by 698 between October 1, 2020 and October 31, 2021. 

It is shocking to see that victims between the ages of 10-17 have seen their numbers quadruple compared with last year.

Female reports have also risen by a total of 572 cases when compared to the 177 reports last year – whilst mThe number of ale offences has risen by 162.

SWGfL (a UK charity that operates the Revenge Porn Helpline) saw the cases increase by twofold last year due to the continuing pandemic. They claim the numbers are not slowing down. 

Revenge porn reports have soared during the pandemic after the number of offences increased by 329 per cent over a 13-month period in London

After the rise in the number of offences over the past 13 months, revenge porn reports rose by the thousands.

The amount of female cases have also risen by a total of 572 cases when compared to the 177 offences last year. Whilst m ale offences have risen by a total of 162 reports

Comparable to last year’s 177 offenses, the number of cases involving females has also increased by 572. MALE offences are up by 162 total reports

Shockingly, victims who are between the ages of 10 and 17 have quadrupled compared to last year and the total number of cases has increased by 120

Surprisingly, the number of victims aged between 10 and 17 has quadrupled in comparison to last year. The total cases have increased 120.

The number of revenge porn cases has risen by 698 between October 1, 2020 and October 31, 2021

Between October 1, 2020, and October 31, 20,21, the number of cases involving revenge porn has increased by 698 

Recent reports from the charity covering five years between 2015 and 2020 were released. One of the key findings of this report was that there had been a tripled number of cases of webcam blackmail, or sextortion.

Also, it was revealed that average 42 images were recorded when a victim reports to the helpline. This is compared to less than one for victims who are male.

Zara Ward, Senior Helpline Practitioner told MailOnline, “We saw a double-digit increase in reports of intimate image abuse almost overnight during the Covid epidemic.” Although we cannot speculate, this can be explained by a range of causes.

“Relationships came under great strain and led to many broken relationships. A blurred line was created between virtual and real. 

“Many relationships were established online in the last year, as more people spent time at home. This meant that sexual behavior was occurring virtually. 

“Subsequently we witnessed the number of cases of intimate image abuse double in 2020, and sextortion reporting triple.

‘We believe that prior to 2020 we were just seeing the tip of the iceberg. But now reports are further increasing – which have been propelled forward by the pandemic – they show no sign of slowing down.’ 

According to Section 33 of Section 35 of the Criminal Justice and Courts Act 2015, revenge porn is considered a crime. You could be sentenced to up to 2 years imprisonment if you’re convicted of this criminal offense. 

Folami Prehaye (51), a Bristol resident, stated that revenge porn has become an increasing common method for ex-partners to inflict pain at a “worrying” rate. 

Folami Prehaye, 51, who lives in Bristol, said revenge porn is becoming an increasingly common way for 'embittered former partners to inflict pain' at a 'worrying rate'

Folami Prehaye, 51, who lives in Bristol, said revenge porn is becoming an increasingly common way for ’embittered former partners to inflict pain’ at a ‘worrying rate’

Thomas Samuel was her former partner and she posted explicit images of Folami on Facebook after they ended their relationship. 

Although Facebook deleted the photos quickly, 48,000 people viewed them in February 2014. They were also uploaded by Samuel on various porn sites.

Folami, despite the humiliation that she experienced, was determined to remove the photos and have Samuel sentenced.

Speaking to the MailOnline, she said: ‘Being a victim of image based sexual abuse was one of the most emotional times in my life. 

‘After the accident, I had depression and was prone to self-blaming. It was a constant battle of thoughts in my head to find the right words.

Thomas Samuel posted the explicit pictures of her using a spoof Facebook account after a bitter break-up

Thomas Samuel uploaded the explicit photos she took using a spoof Facebook account to post after a painful break-up

“I spent hours reflecting on our relationship, and making excuses for friends who said he was controlling me or something else. I was the victim of my own torture. 

“I found out that I was changing how I dressed and looked during our relationship. Slowly, I realized how controllable he was. He never truly loved me.

“Someone who is truly in love with you would not abuse your trust this way, and it was an incredible moment for me.” 

Folami continued the case to Bristol Magistrates’ Court. Thomas was found guilty and sentenced for six months. However, Folami was released from prison.

Folami also issued a restraining orders to him, and he was required to pay fines.

“Once I realized he was out of my world, that’s when I said it. The experience was a turning point in my life. I decided to take something positive from it. I had my life turned on its head. Although I was aware that it would be difficult to start again and to learn trust again, I decided to give it a shot. 

“I had a 14-year-old son and a 24 year old daughter. They both needed to know that there was always light at end of tunnel. 

Folami, who suffered horrific abuse in her ordeal, set up Victims of Image Crime, a support group and recovery program to assist victims of image-based sexual abuse. 

It is an easy way to find information on the best options for victims after an internet crime.  

Folami stated, “I want to empower people who’ve been through this experience.” They should feel empowered to speak up and take control of their lives. 

“I’ve supported victims over 6 years. Some of them I have not met. This is not a miracle cure. It takes time. 

VOIC’s creation was my way of therapy. It was my form of therapy. 

“I was in emotional turmoil for years before I got to this point. It’s the same as many people who had similar experiences.” You will change your entire life.

“Raising awareness in relation to crime is one of our key messages. 

“From my experiences, I can talk as a victim and professional. My experience allows me to use that knowledge to aid in the emotional recovery of people who reach out to us for support. 

Folami previously waived her right to anonymity and opened up on ITV's This Morning about how the act had 'ruined her life' in October 2014

Folami, who previously gave up her anonymity to talk about her experience with the crime on ITV’s This Morning (October 2014)

Folami Prehaye

Folami created Victims of Image Crime, a support and recovery organization to aid victims of abuse based on image.

Folami states that she’s not shocked by London’s drastic increase in the number of cases and suggests social media platforms do more.

She also stated that “image based sexual violence – commonly known as revenge porn” – was still an infant. Because people continue to share explicit content, there aren’t many deterrents.

A six-month suspension sentence is often given to persecutors who are brought to court. This applies for both two-year-old and three-year-old cases.

According to a report, “Social media platforms do a lot more than they used to but that’s still not enough. Overstretched police force don’t have enough funding, training or understanding to provide proper support for victims who have gone through this.

“Young people now live in digital space. Image has never been more essential. It’s not going to get better anytime soon. It’s going to get worse before it gets better, unless we find more creative ways to aid discussions around this.

TikTok makes it possible to put content into one-minute videos that can receive millions of views worldwide. 

“Our taste in information delivery is always changing, but digital remains our preferred method of accessing it. Everything is at your fingertips.

“Additionally, there is the pandemic that continues to plague us. This forced us all to be at home. The only interaction we had was via internet.

“Enough is enough,” these criminal acts are horrific and can leave victims with serious scarring. It is urgent that social media reforms be implemented and that prison sentences are increased. We must end this horrible crime.

By clicking this, you can go to VOIC and make a donation.  

How can you revenge porn?

The Criminal Justice and Court Act of 2015 included Revenge Porn Laws. 

According to the Act, it is illegal for anyone to: “disclose private sexual photographs or films if they are made without the consent and in the purpose of causing individual distress.” 

This means that those sharing sexually explicit images maliciously without consent of the subject could be sentenced to up to 2 years imprisonment

This law applies to both online and offline images sharing. This offense covers both images shared on social networks such as Facebook, Twitter and email.  

The offence covers photographs or films which show people engaged in sexual activity or depicted in a sexual way or with their genitals exposed.