'Revenge Porn' Is Outlawed in the U.K.

Feb 12, 2015 11:10 AM PST

LONDON — Queen Elizabeth II approved a "revenge porn” bill Thursday, a formality that is required before legislation endorsed by Parliament can become law.

Starting this spring, it will be a crime for anyone who shares private and sexual images of another person without that person's permission with the intent of causing distress.

With the legislation, a helpline and advertising campaign for victims has also been launched.

While the new law does not force social media sites to remove "revenge porn,” the Ministry of Justice said it would "send out a clear message and make it easier for social media providers to act."

England and Wales now join jurisdictions including Japan and a number of states in the U.S. in banning such images. Punishment for violators reaches up to two years in prison.

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