British Rally Against Simulated Rape in Porn

Lila Gray

LONDON — Hundreds have written to British Prime Minister David Cameron urging him to outlaw the possession of simulated rape porn. Despite the populist push, the Ministry of Justice resisted action favoring the group.

According to the Independent, the campaign responded to a statement released by the Ministry of Justice that said that there is “no evidence” that simulated rape negatively impacts society.

As long as the actors are 18 years or older and willingly participate, the statement continued, such material will remain legal in England and Wales. Simulated rape porn is illegal in Scotland.   

Dave Pearson of the Ministry of Justice‘s criminal policy unit replied to the campaigners in a letter. Essentially mirroring the Ministry of Justice’s last statement, he wrote, “We have no evidence to show that the creation of staged rape images involves any harm to the participants or causes harm to society at large,“ but acknowledged that the department considers violence against women a problem that must still be confronted.

The campaigners' collective letter says that staged rape scenes — even if consensual — encourages consumption of sexual violence as “entertainment” and “glorifies, trivializes and normalizes” the abuse of women.

Further fueling the movement is the fact that the respective murderers of April Jones and Tia Sharpe, Mark Bridger and Stuart Hazell, have been accused of watching violent pornography. The campaigners linked their crimes with their pornography use.

Recently Britain has been wracked with broad outcries against pornography beyond the genre of simulated rape and violent themes. In the last week, campaigns have arisen to urge the government to automatically block pornography on search engines.

In attempt to avoid government regulation of ISPs, British Culture Secretary Maria Miller invited leaders of search engines and content providers to a summit to be held in two weeks. Miller voiced hopes that the talks will lead to new industry-imposed measures, including increased use of online filters and the creation of administrative bodies to monitor online content.   

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