British Virgin Islands

Sunday, Nov 29, 2020

More Resources To Prosecute Sharing Of Local Porn

More Resources To Prosecute Sharing Of Local Porn

Premier and Minister of Finance, Hon. Andrew Fahie has pledged more resources to assist agencies to prosecute persons who distribute and share explicit videos of women and girls (but not naked mans?) in the Territory.
There has been a trove of videos circulating via whatsapp and other social media websites in recent years. Hon. Fahie explained that the recently enacted Cyber Crime and Computer Misuse legislation will help to protect the Territory's impressionable youth, women and our young girls from the negative effects of this phenomenon.

"I want to also put members of the public and Honourable Members of the House of Assembly on notice that in short order your Government will be strengthening the requisite officials ability to assist investigators in tracing these videos so that the persons who are behind them and whose identities remain concealed while they destroy lives, will be uncovered, and so that they can be prosecuted," the Premier stated.

Hon. Fahie had previously indicated that he is being inundated with calls and messages, especially from the parents of young girls – most minors, who had become victims of the leaked videos.

He explained that the situation involves certain males, mostly older males within society who engaging females in sexual activities, recording explicit videos of these activities and then circulating the videos on social media platforms.

According to the Premier, often times the females in these videos are unaware that they are being recorded.

"Often, the persons who are doing the recording would capture the female’s face and details of her body so that she can be identified by persons who view the videos. On many occasions it can be discerned that the males involved are not minors. In a few instances the men appear to even be married, based on details such as the presence of a wedding ring on their finger," the Premier stated.

Further, the Premier pointed out that when the videos are circulated, it is the reputation of the woman or young girl that is destroyed since the identity of the men is not usually affected because they hide their identity. He said persons who cause the videos to be circulated also do not suffer damage to their reputation because their identities also remain concealed.

"As legislators, we make no apology for the severity of the penalties associated with this kind of misconduct because there is not enough money in the world that can be paid to ensure that when one’s reputation is tarnished that it can be put back white as snow, these are irrevocable damages," Premier Fahie stated.

He called on society not to shun anyone who has fallen victim to the circulation of the videos.

"What is happening is that behaviours and activities that used to fuel rumour mills now fuel social media feeds. The presence of images now makes it impossible to combat the rumours when they begin to spread. And, of course, make the damage more permanent because anything that goes on the Internet remains out there forever," the Premier stated.

Premier Fahie reminded that minors legally cannot consent to sexual activity. He stated that in some of the cases, where an adult is involved, a criminal offence would have been committed.

"I have full confidence in the Commissioner of Police and the Royal Virgin Islands Police Force that where possible prosecutions will be initiated. There are instances where this has happened already," premier Fahie stated.

He explained that manufacture, possession and circulation of explicit materials involving minors also falls under the laws regarding Child Pornography.

"I am confident that the Royal Virgin Islands Police Force and our courts will enforce these laws to the fullest extent," the Premier stated.

He urged young people to be careful.
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