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The impact of proposed intimate image abuse offences on domestic violence and abuse

Bishop, C. (2022) The impact of proposed intimate image abuse offences on domestic violence and abuse. Northern Ireland Legal Quarterly, 73 (AD2). pp. 125-153. ISSN 0029-3105 (In Press)

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To link to this item DOI: 10.53386/nilq.v73iAD2.969


This article explores how proposed reforms to the law on intimate image abuse could address situations where intimate images are shared, or threats to share are made, in a relationship where there is domestic violence and abuse (DVA). In exploring the purposes and motivations behind the use of non-consensual intimate images in this context, the harmful impact is demonstrated to be the denial of autonomy and personhood that ‘entraps’ the victim in the relationship. It is essential that this harm, and the underlying motivations of those who use intimate image abuse for this purpose, is made visible under the proposed legislation to ensure that the criminal law effectively condemns and remedies conduct of this kind. It is for this reason that the article concludes that the Law Commission is right to consider introducing an offence of ‘intentionally taking or sharing an intimate image without consent with the intent to control or coerce the person depicted.’ It is further suggested that this fault element may better reflect the culpability of those who engage in threats to share intimate images and should be introduced not just where images are taken and shared, but also where threats to share such images are made.

Item Type:Article
Divisions:Arts, Humanities and Social Science > School of Law
ID Code:107364
Publisher:School of Law, Queen's University Belfast


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