Middle East

Israel makes 'revenge porn' illegal

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Israel has become the first country in the world to make ‘revenge porn’ a criminal offence.

Yudith*, a 24-year-old Israeli woman, told CNN she only realised her ex-boyfriend had posted an intimate video of her online when it appeared on social media websites.

"The experience was so horrific," she said.

She has twice tried to commit suicide.

"I went totally insane; had anxiety attacks; I was hospitalised and tore my hair out."

"I couldn’t go out. I’d get phone calls the whole day from friends I hadn’t seen in years. Everyone saw it, including my family."

The problem of revenge porn has become increasingly common around the world.

Elsewhere lawmakers have struggled to respond but in Israel, revenge porn offenders are now sex criminals who face up to five years in jail.

Israeli lawmaker Yifat Kariv, who pushed the measure, said it sent a clear message to couples.

"Think twice about what you’re doing and who you’re doing and with whom you’re doing what," she said.

"I want to say to the other side – you don’t want to be a sexual criminal for the rest of your life. Think about what you’re doing."

*Not her real name.

* Readers seeking support and information about suicide prevention can contact Lifeline on 13 11 14 or Suicide Call Back Service on 1300 659 467.

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