Brown Burke wants tougher penalties for perpetrators of revenge porn Loop Jamaica

The content originally appeared on: Jamaica News Loop News

Chairman of the People’s National Party, Dr Angela Brown Burke is pushing for tougher penalties to address revenge porn.

She made the call during her recent contribution to the 2024/25 Sectoral Debate in the House of Representatives.

“The growing phenomenon of revenge porn – where intimate images or videos are shared without consent, often with the aim of humiliating or controlling women – is a disturbing violation of privacy and dignity,” Brown Burke said.

She added that “This form of digital gender-based violence can have devastating consequences for victims, including emotional distress, social ostracism, and even physical harm”.

Brown Burke acknowledged that the Bureau of Gender Affairs has been improving its capacity to treat with victims of gender-based violence, however, she said based on reports she has read and after speaking with victims, there was still much work to be done.

“It is imperative that countries like Jamaica acknowledge the severity of this issue and ensure that adequate legal remedies are in place to protect victims and to hold perpetrators accountable.

“The government must criminalise non-consensual sharing of intimate content, thus protecting the privacy and dignity of individuals,” Brown Burke stated.

She suggested that the present Cybercrimes Act is not robust enough, nor is the Cybercrimes Unit adequately resourced to provide Jamaicans, most of whom are women, the protection they deserve.

“We must act now to prevent further harm and create a safer, more equitable digital landscape for all, especially our women, who have been the majority of victims. Time come to take actions to protect victims of revenge porn,” she said.

In recent years several persons have appeared before the local courts in relation to revenge revenge porn.

One of the most prominent cases involved software engineer Rodrick Brown and attorney-at-law Kimberley Facey.

Facey was awarded more than $11 million in the groundbreaking lawsuit she brought against Brown for leaking explicit photos and videos of their sexual activity on several popular social media platforms after their relationship ended. The USA-based Brown was ordered to pay Facey $11 million in damages with three per cent interest dating back to October 2020, and $480,000 for future medical care following an assessment hearing in the Supreme Court in September 2023.

Revenge porn is the distribution of sexually explicit images or videos of individuals without their consent. The material may have been made by a partner in an intimate relationship with the knowledge and consent of the subject at the time, or it may have been made without their knowledge