The Justice Minister Pledges t...

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The Justice Minister Pledges to Criminalise Image Based Sexual Abuse

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Newsroom

09:12 20 Nov 2020


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The Justice Minister has committed to introducing laws to tackle image based sexual abuse.

It's after thousands of sexual images of Irish women were leaked from a private forum without their permission.

Helen McEntee says she is " determined to act " on the issue and "ensure that anyone who shares these kinds of images will face serious criminal sanctions."

In a series of tweets this morning the Minister says she's working alongside Labour to enact the Harassment, Harmful Communications and Related Offences Bill.

It's due to come back before the Dáil next week.

We Don't Have Appropriate Ways Of Responding Yet - ICCL

The Irish Council of Civil Liberties agrees, that this must be a criminal act.

ICCL spokesperson Doireann Ansbro says those responsible need to be prosecuted:

"We consider this image based sexual abuse."

"It needs to be responded to appropriately and adequately."

However, Doireann adds that, "Unfortunately at the moment we don't have the appropriate laws in place."

"We need to make sure that this kind of image based sexual abuse is considered a crime and can be prosecuted."

Image Based Sexual Abuse Is "Deeply Troubling"

Meanwhile the Irish Council for Civil Liberties also says it's 'deeply troubled' by the situation.

It's calling on TDs to update Irish laws in this scenario.

That is after the pictures of Irish women, including some underage girls were leaked without their permission.

Additionally, the ICCL says the creation or distribution of private sexual images without consent is image-based sexual abuse.

Finally, Doireann Ansbro says new legislation to be discussed at the start of next month must ensure it's treated as a crime:

"Now there is a law coming before the Oireachtas in the next couple of weeks."

"On the first of December is when it'll be discussed."

"But we need to make sure that law, which seeks to outlaw the sharing of intimate images, is done in a way that reflects the fact that this is a sexual offence."

You Can Contact Women's Aid For Support On 1800 341 900.

File Photograph: Sam Boal / Photocall Ireland

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