Watching and possessing images of rape and sexual torture is to be made a criminal offence, punishable with a jail term of up to three years.
The plan follows a campaign by two MPs and the mother of a schoolteacher who was killed in 2003.
Violent Internet pornography was implicated in the trial of the man convicted of her murder.
Home Office minister Vernon Coaker said there was an urgent need to tackle the problem because such images were becoming more easily available on the Internet and control of their distribution more difficult.
The new laws — which will cover pornography online and offline — will ban possession of images depicting “scenes of extreme sexual violence”, plus other obscene material like bestiality or necrophilia.
This law is different that previous laws in that it makes possesion of these kinds of things a crime– not just production and distribution. Certainly this is a good step– for the greatest damage is done as a person continues to absorb more and more of this into his mind the more and more he will act it out in this thoughts and then actions.
But how does a man (I don’t think many women are into this?) get to a point where he finds it enjoyable to watch sexual violence performed on someone? If this law were able, by some computer wizardy, to eliminate all videos of sexual violence the problem would still be there– and this is why I don’t think that this law goes far enough. This is just the ultimate manifestation of a sin problem in the area of sexuality. It’s the end of a line of thought that begins with the “harmless” version of porn and progresses (as all sins do) to more and more risky and taboo varieties.
If this government really wanted to make a difference in the lives of it citizens in the area of pornography, it would ban all of the stuff, and have some stiff penalties for viewing the stuff. Of course, either of these methods are hard to enforce, though one wonders what kind of filter a government could come up with. It’d probably be easier to white list sites and we get into the whole complex situation we were in when discussing the XXX domain.
Still, I say, if you want to make a difference go all the way, not some of it.