Love Island’s Zara McDermott calls for firmer revenge porn laws in Parliament Square

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Zara McDermott joined domestic abuse charity, Refuge in Parliament Square on Thursday to lobby for changes in rules about revenge porn. 

The Love Island star, 24, has been making a documentary over the past year about her experiences with the horrendous attack and has since made it a passion project to help victims and lobby lawmakers over the crime.  

Refuge is calling for anyone who threatens to share intimate photographs of another person without their consent to face prosecution. A law against disclosing intimate photos came into force in 2015 but the charity wants to see this strengthened.

Campaign: Zara McDermott joined domestic abuse charity, Refuge in Parliament Square on Thursday to lobby for changes in rules about revenge porn

Campaign: Zara McDermott joined domestic abuse charity, Refuge in Parliament Square on Thursday to lobby for changes in rules about revenge porn

Zara joined Refuge ambassador and domestic abuse survivor Natasha Saunders and Refuge policy manager Cordelia Tucker O’Sullivan outside Parliament.

She is joining charity officials in calling for an amendment to the Domestic Abuse Bill when it returns to the House of Lords in the coming days.

According to Refuge data, one in seven young women have been threatened this way despite the law against revenge porn – often by current or former partners.

The charity says victims face barriers to justice because the act of making these threats is not yet a criminal offence.

Pained: The Love Island star, 24, has been making a documentary over the past year about her experiences with the horrendous attack and has since made it a passion project to help victims and lobby lawmakers over the crime

Pained: The Love Island star, 24, has been making a documentary over the past year about her experiences with the horrendous attack and has since made it a passion project to help victims and lobby lawmakers over the crime

In March, it was revealed that Zara give an ’emotional and raw’ account of her experience of revenge porn in a BBC documentary. 

She revealed she will open up about the traumatic time in an upcoming show for BBC Three – recounting the time she left Love Island in 2018 and learnt that an ex had leaked naked images of her online.

Zara wrote on Instagram: ‘ANNOUNCEMENT. Hi Everyone. Some of you may be aware that I have been a victim of Image Based Sexual Abuse, which is also known as Revenge Porn…

Standing together: Zara joined Refuge ambassador and domestic abuse survivor Natasha Saunders and Refuge policy manager Cordelia Tucker O'Sullivan outside Parliament

Standing together: Zara joined Refuge ambassador and domestic abuse survivor Natasha Saunders and Refuge policy manager Cordelia Tucker O’Sullivan outside Parliament

‘For those of you who don’t know what this is, it’s basically when one person shares intimate images of videos of another person without their consent…

‘I am really humbled and honoured to announce that the BBC and I are currently making a documentary to share my story. 

‘My main aim is to bring awareness to this issue, and be a voice for those who have suffered in silence and to help make a change. I am sharing my story and being my most vulnerable, emotional and raw [sic].’

Painful: In March, it was revealed that Zara give an 'emotional and raw' account of her experience of revenge porn in a BBC documentary

Painful: In March, it was revealed that Zara give an ’emotional and raw’ account of her experience of revenge porn in a BBC documentary

According to Zara, she now feels ‘confident enough to properly speak out’ about her personal experiences of revenge porn.

She wrote: ‘This has affected my life and me as a person tremendously, and for the first time I’m confident enough to properly speak out and share my story.

‘I am nervous to share these intimate details with the world but I hope that it will only make positive change and lessen the blame on us victims. The documentary will be out in a few months time on BBC Three. Thank you so much.’

Personal pain: According to Zara, she now feels 'confident enough to properly speak out' about her personal experiences of revenge porn

Personal pain: According to Zara, she now feels ‘confident enough to properly speak out’ about her personal experiences of revenge porn

Of the upcoming show, Fiona Campbell, the Controller at BBC Three, said: ‘We’re grateful to Zara for sharing her story with us and hope it will make a difference to young lives around the UK.’

This follows last year’s acclaimed documentary from the channel, Odd One Out featuring Jesy Nelson, 28, which broke BBC Three records.

The programme, which emotionally explores the Little Mix star’s horrific trolling ordeal and suicide attempt, also became the top show on BBC iPlayer after its release with 1.87 million requests within seven days – 64% being 16-34-year-olds.

Odd One Out also aired on BBC One at 9pm on Thursday 12 September with a whopping consolidated 3.3 million viewers and a 55% growth in show watchers compared to initial overnight ratings.

Heartbreaking: This follows last year's acclaimed documentary from the channel, Odd One Out featuring Jesy Nelson, 28, which broke BBC Three records

Heartbreaking: This follows last year’s acclaimed documentary from the channel, Odd One Out featuring Jesy Nelson, 28, which broke BBC Three records

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