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LISTEN – Laura Farris MP calls for criminal penalties for online porn providers

Newbury’s MP calls for online porn providers to be held criminally responsible for underage porn viewing

Laura Farris also calls for younger children’s sex education

Newbury’s MP, Laura Farris, has called for online porn providers to be held criminally responsible for underage porn viewing and advocate earlier children’s sex education.

Speaking with presenter Ali on Kennet Radio’s Saturday Chatterday programme, Ms Farris discussed the issue of sexually explicit messages and images on social media. She mentioned that violent pornography on websites is often directly linked to violence against women. She said that it is “shocking” that that sort of content is available to young people and called for “much, much, much tighter regulation of the explicit content online”. She said that she “would like to see things like cyber-flashing – even unsolicited naked images – being made illegal.”

Our MP said that she would “bat the penalty system firmly back into the companies that make and publish (online porn). I would basically say to Pornhub ‘if an under-eighteen year old is found to have watched your content that’s a criminal offence by you which could result in you being closed down or could result in some sort of corporate offence where people could go to prison’. I would make them completely responsible for it, because if you just make it that there is just age verification – I think people are quite familiar with the fact that people can get around that. Kids get round that stuff. So I would make it much more stringent about what young people can watch.”

Ms Farris went on to say:

“I think there probably is the need for sex education at a younger age actually because…I think that children do otherwise … find out about it – if you don’t explain it to them probably before you think they are ready as a parent – then they will find about it from the wrong sources.

…The vast majority of men and boys do, particularly as they mature, make their way into healthy relationships but you don’t need that many to not and to have deeply misogynistic views or to have a tendency towards violence, or some combination of the two, to have a real problem in society. ..Even though we live in a less sexist society in some ways, we live in a more sexist society in other ways than when I was young.”

On the show, Laura Farris discussed her recent survey on women’s safety:

“There has been a huge national conversation in the last twelve months about women’s safety in public places and also…there have been one or two horrible attacks on women in my constituency. …I thought that necessitated me trying to find out what my constituents thought, where they felt unsafe. Some of their answers you might have expected and some were less expected”.

Ms Farris said that she wants to do a joint piece of work with local transport providers, West Berkshire Council, Thames Valley Police and local councillors to have a “joined up” approach to how we look after women’s safety.

She mentioned various places in Newbury where women feel unsafe, specifically around the canal, close to Sainsbury’s and places in the north of Newbury. Our MP also mentioned a continuing issue with women travelling alone after 9pm.

Laura Farris mentioned how the Domestic Abuse Act has increased awareness of the inequity of issues such as coercive control, economic abuse, sexual and domestic violence.

The interview with Laura Farris MP was aired in full on Kennet Radio on March 12th just after 11am on Saturday Chatterday, presented by Ali. You can listen to it again by clicking below:

Kennet Radio broadcasts to Newbury, Thatcham and surrounding areas on 106.7FM, online at kennetradio.com, on the Kennet Radio mobile app and via Alexa (accessed by saying “Alexa, play Kennet Radio”).

Our photo above shows Laura Farris (left) in her office talking with presenter Ali.

Laura Farris MP’s Women’s Safety Survey can be accessed here.