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Call to question porn use and justice

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Click Off, End Abuse, campaign, pornography in the UK, letter to CPS, Crown Prosecution Service, consider pornography's role, court cases, violence against women and girlsConsider the impact of pornography on all of those involved in the process of administering justice.

The campaign group Click Off Pornography and End Abuse was formed to demonstrate the links between male sexual violence and pornography and aims to raise awareness about the harms of pornography, share its research findings with legislators and build a movement against pornography in the UK.

In a letter sent to the Crown Prosecution Service (CPS) recently, Click Off asked that the CPS consider the role pornography has played when prosecuting cases of violence against women and girls.

For there is a growing body of research which suggests that those who watch pornography are more susceptible to rape myths – and this can affect both judge and jury – and there is compelling evidence that pornography use is a factor in sexual offending.

The letter runs:

Click Off are an organisation committed to raising awareness about the harms of pornography.  We urge the Crown Prosecution Service (CPS) to consider the role of pornography when prosecuting cases of violence against women and girls.

The announcement of a new CPS project to ‘understand changing sexual behaviours and associated myths and stereotypes’ is warmly welcomed by Click Off, as is the commitment from Director of Public Prosecutions Max Hill QC to have a ‘frank and full conversation about the reasons for the fall in referrals.’  Click Off would like to be part of this conversation, because we know that pornography is changing both personal attitudes towards violence against women and girls and the wider context in which justice is pursued.

The reported drop in both referrals from the police and convictions needs to be seen in a wider context.  Our legislature is struggling to keep up with the pace of technological change and the new challenges of a society saturated with images that normalise violent sexual abuse of women and girls.

There is a growing body of research which suggests that those who watch pornography are more susceptible to rape myths, and there is compelling evidence that pornography use is a factor in sexual offending.  The recent case of Jamel Nwokoye underscores this point; following his conviction for rape which appeared to simulate the pornography he’d been watching, the Metropolitan Police called for action to be taken on ‘rape porn.’

Many victims of sexual offences find that courtrooms are hostile environments.  Challenging the impact of pornography on all of those involved in the process of administering justice would enhance confidence in the courts, whilst sending out a clear social message that pornography is both a threat to the safety of women and girls and a barrier to equality between the sexes.

We look forward to your response.

Follow ‘Click Off Pornography and End Abuse’ on @ClickOffOrg

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