Campaign to ban 'rape porn'

STOP PRESS! In July 2013 the Prime Minister announced that the Government will amend the extreme pornography legislations to criminalise the possession of rape pornography. More here.


Campaign covered widely in the media including BBC, Guardian, Daily Mail, Telegraph,and Sky.


Sign the petition to Close the 'Rape Pornography' loophole


RASASCRape Crisis South London is spearheading a campaign to make it unlawful to posses pornographic images that depict rape and which promote sexual violence of women and girls. EVAW and over 100 women's groups, academics and others - including the Deputy Children's Commissioner - are supporting the campaign and have written to the Prime Minister calling for the loophole to be closed.

Letter to the PM from 100+ academics, women's groups and others

Letter from the Ministry of Justice saying no evidence of harm

Campaign briefing from Rape Crisis South London

Legal briefing (2013) from Professor Clare McGlynn and Professor Erika Rackley

Legal briefing (2014) from Professor Clare McGlynn and Professor Erika Rackley


The law

The recent murder convictions of Mark Bridger and Stuart Hazell, involving violent and misogynistic pornography, have been both shocking and distressing. Moreover, the recent report from the Children’s Commissioner about children’s, especially boys’, access to pornography and that it is linked to harmful attitudes and behaviour to women and girls, is extremely worrying.  

Currently, it is a criminal offence in England and Wales to possess pornographic material which is grossly offensive, disgusting or otherwise obscene and explicitly and realistically depicts life threatening injury, serious injury to a person’s anus, breasts or genitals, bestiality or necrophilia (sections 63-67 of the CJIA 2008). Most prosecutions are for pornographic images of bestiality.

The vast majority of images depicting rape are lawful to possess, although they are banned in Scotland under its Extreme Pornography legislation.


What kind of images?

We are talking about sites that explicitly advertise sexually violent content and with titles such as ‘Father Raped Drunk Daughter’ and ‘Incest With Daughter at Family Cabin’. Research by Rape Crisis South London found that of the top 50 accessible ‘rape porn’ sites found through a Google search, 78% advertise rape content of under 18 year olds (e.g. “schoolgirl rape”) and 67% advertise rape content involving guns or knives.


Sexual violence

Government figures show that every year more than 400,000 women are sexually assaulted and up to 95,000 women are raped in England and Wales. Over a third of rapes involve a victim under the age of 16. We believe that allowing the lawful possession of ‘rape porn’ undermines this good work and sends a contradictory message about the seriousness with which sexual violence is taken. That sexual violence is a form of entertainment causes a huge cultural harm to our society and we are urging the Prime Minister to close this loophole.

Letter to PM signed by 100+

Sue Berelowitz, Deputy Children’s Commissioner, Professor Liz Kelly CBE, Child and Woman Abuse Studies Unit, Frances O'Grady TUC, Justine Roberts (Mumsnet), Natasha Walter, Professor Clare McGlynn, University of Durham, Professor Erika Rackley, University of Durham, Professor Nicole Westmarland, Durham Centre for Research into Violence and Abuse, Fiona Elvines, Rape Crisis South London, Dr Maddy Coy, Child and Woman Abuse Studies Unit, Dr Miranda Horvath, Middlesex University, Lee Eggleston OBE, Rape Crisis England and Wales, Holly Dustin, End Violence Against Women Coalition, Janice Langley, National Federation of Women’s Institutes, No More Page 3, Professor Simon Hackett, Durham Centre for Research into Violence and Abuse, Sandra Horley CBE (Refuge), Gill Frances OBE, independent consultant, Dr. Ruth Barley, Sheffield Hallam University, Heather Harvey, Eaves for Women, Polly Neate, Women’s Aid, Professor Jill Radford, Vivienne Hayes, Women’s Resource Centre, Dr Helen Mott, Bristol Fawcett, Dr Afroditi Pina, University of Kent, South Essex Rape and Incest Crisis Centre, Professor Joanna R Adler, Middlesex University, North London Rape Crisis. Solace Women’s Aid, Suffolk Rape Crisis, Dr Jessica Woodhams, University of Birmingham, Linda Durrant, Cath Elliott, Fiona Johnson, Kay Heslop, Dr Peter Wass, Imperial College, Stephanie Futter-Orel, Latin American Women’s Aid, Kirklees Survivors Counselling Project, SAVANA, Gloucestershire Rape Crisis Centre, East Kent Rape Line, Cambridge Rape Crisis Centre, Survivors’ Network, Devon Rape Crisis Service, Rape and Sexual Abuse Support centre (Cheshire and Merseyside), Support after Rape and Sexual Violence Leeds, Campaign to End Rape, West Cumbria Rape Crisis, Justice for Women, North London Rape Crisis, Trafford Rape Crisis, Bristol Rape Crisis, Manchester Rape Crisis, Rape and Sexual Abuse Counselling Centre (Darlington & Co Durham Rape Crisis), Northamptonshire Rape & Incest Crisis Centre, RASA (Rape and Sexual Abuse Centre) Merseyside, ARCH North East, Cllr Moira Macdonald, Exeter City Council, Linda M Regan MBE, Cliodhna Devlin, Julie Nyanyo, Jacqueline Seaman, Debbie Galton, Helen Lomax, Manchester, Lauren Hart Lamey, Ashley Edhouse, Allison Lobley, Trish Moran, Valeska Matziol, Josephine Wood MBE, Kay Bastin, Dilys Davy, Lois Arch, Maureen O'Hara, Salford Law School, Jane Williams, Donna Randles, Dorothy Irving, Emma Raymode, RASASC Cheshire and Merseyside, Beth Speake, Sheffield, Sarah Heslop, Carlisle, Dionne Cantwel, Ruth Richardson, Bristol, Karen Rowe, Janet Hodgson, Rape Crisis Tyneside and Northumberland, Carol Hilwyn, Herefordshire Rape and Sexual Abuse Support Centre, Leanne Hogg, Carol Swainson, Helen Lomax, Northamptonshire Rape & Incest Crisis Centre, Jennifer Lumsden , Gordon Therapeutic Lead Sandwell Women's Aid, Katie Russell, Support After Rape & Sexual Violence Leeds, Sylvie Maguire, CRASAC, A  K Evans, Laura Heslop, West Cumbria Rape Crisis, Carol Tindall, West Cumbria Rape Crisis, Frances and Stephen Dryden, Cumbria, J.Pagan, D.Birkbeck, Elaine Hutton, Bristol, Fiona Tootill, Katherine Butler, Jane Gambles, West Cumbria Rape Crisis, Alison Robertson, Amy Masson, Judy Parfett, Ginny Ellis, Morag Borszcz, Teresa Krrashi, Sarah Crockett, Herefordshire Rape & Sexual Abuse Support Centre, Roxana Parra Sepulveda MBACP (Accred) - MBPsS, Emma Durmaz RGN, MA, PGCE (HE), DFCASA, Shazia Shamim, Hannah Walker, Cheryl Turley, Laurie Pearce, Jocelyn Anderson, West Mercia Rape & Sexual Abuse Support CentreSue Howlett PG Dip / MAMBACP (Snr Accred) UKRCP Reg. Ind. Counsellor, Rowan Miller, BRC Interim Director, Carol Franks, Jill Burtoft, Chris Blain, zahira begum , Angie Powell-Stevens, Julia Aglionby, Jennifer Moses (NASUWT), Jacqui Hunt (Equality Now), Emma Bell (Jewish Women's Aid), Jo Todd (Respect), Annette Lawson (NAWO), Against Violence and Abuse, Jo Sharpen, Emma Scott (Rights of Women), Dr Aisha Gill (University of Roehampton), Professor Marianne Hester OBE (Uni of Bristol), Object, Chris Green (White Ribbon Campaign), Hannah Wharf, Nia, Paula Hardy (Welsh Women's Aid), Dr Emma Martin (Teesside University), Wendy Roberts (The Topaz Centre), Race On The Agenda, Nicola Sharp (Surviving Economic Abuse), Standing Together Against Domestic Violence, Tender, Sandy Ruxton, Baljit Banga (NAWP), Jenny Kemp (Zero Tolerance)