Legal loophole gives animals and corpses more rights than women and children

A coalition of women’s groups have highlighted that animals and corpses have more rights than women and children when it comes to being used for internet pornography.

This article was in The Daily Telegraph on June 18th 2013.

They believe, and rightly so, that David Cameron must do something to close a legal loophole and in turn ban possession of pornographic images that promote sexual violence against girls and women.

The coalition had written a letter which was published in the newspaper, outlining that the possession of images that depict rape scenes as well as sexual violence were deemed legal so long as the actors were over 18.

Quite shockingly, according to the coalition, pictures of necrophilia and bestiality are illegal to possess.

This coalition, which has representatives from a broad spectrum of organisations and charities were highlighting a quite obvious need for change as no one should be watching women and girls being attacked in general, let alone for sexual violence. They believe urgent action needs to be taken to put a stop to violent and misogynistic online pornography.

Maria Miller (the Cultural Secretary) hosted a summit with internet companies to prevent “offensive” and “dangerous” online material causing harm. However it seems that the group of internet service providers rejected the Government’s demand to apply adult content filters to all web services, as a “default setting”.

The coalition wrote, “We specifically want the Government to close a loophole in the pornography legislation which allows the lawful possession in England and Wales of pornographic images that depict rape so long as the actors are over 18. Depictions of necrophilia and bestiality are criminalised by the same legislation, meaning that animals and dead people are better protected than women and girls.”

They believe that a change in the law would send a clearer message that it is illegal to possess pornographic images that promote sexual violence against women.

Whilst I am all for a change in the law, as I think it is utterly disgusting that it is perfectly legal to possess these sorts of images, I am unsure how much significance a change in the law will make. Without the risk of sounding too pessimistic, I do not think a change in law will stop people accessing these images, as current laws have not stopped people accessing child pornography.

The coalition believe that the law should be changed, and are dismayed that the loop hole continues to exist, especially as they believe that there is a heightened concern over the links between proliferation of internet pornography and attacks on children.

Now it is not my place to state whether people who view violent/sexual attacks on women then go on to attack children in a sexual way.

I think the issue arises over how it is possible to stop people viewing these images, as I feel that that is a very hard task to do given the scope of the internet as well as the potential craftiness of those involved in viewing, uploading and promoting these images.

The children’s watchdogs do want to see a change in the law, as they believe that boys’ attitudes towards women and girls were in danger of being shaped and influenced by the somewhat easy access to pornography. Whilst I do agree with that statement, and feel that the internet is somewhat to blame for this, what about the magazines that are in supermarkets containing sexual images, or The Sun’s page 3 girls. Are these not demeaning females and also potentially influencing boys’ attitudes towards women.

Maria Miller promised that she would put as much pressure as she could on internet firms to do more to close down child pornography as well as sexually violent images. She states that “child abuse images are horrific and widespread public concern has made it clear that the industry must take action.”

I think this article is definitely one I will be continuing to follow, and will update when any new developments arise. I hope that we will see a change in the law regarding this, as no human being, child or adult should be attacked in order for other people to view the images/videos for sexual gains.

Would be really good to know your thoughts.

Rebecca x

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