Teachers and children's groups call for porn laws to stop attacks on women like Sarah Everard

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Curb porn to stop attacks on women like Sarah Everard: Teachers and children’s groups call for action to prevent youngsters viewing indecent material online

  • Campaigners want to bring forward the age verification for pornographic sites
  • They also called on Boris Johnson to introduced violent porn restrictions
  • They believe there is a link between pornography and violence against women

Boris Johnson must take action to stop children viewing porn online to help prevent attacks on women such as Sarah Everard (pictured), teachers warned

Boris Johnson must take action to stop children viewing porn online to help prevent attacks on women such as Sarah Everard (pictured), teachers warned

Boris Johnson must take action to stop children viewing porn online to help prevent attacks on women such as Sarah Everard, head teachers and children’s groups warned last night.

In a letter to the Prime Minister, they demanded that he use next week’s Queen’s Speech to bring forward the implementation of age verification for porn sites.

They also called on Mr Johnson to introduce restrictions on violent and extreme porn as a matter of urgency.

The signatories are led by former Play School presenter Baroness (Floella) Benjamin, former digital minister Margot James and Dr Javed Khan, chief executive of the children’s charity Barnardo’s. The letter is also signed by Dr Joseph Spence, the Master of Dulwich College in south London, which has been accused of having a rape culture.

They argue that it is clear there is a link between the use of pornography and a higher incidence of violence against women and girls. And they say that since the death of Miss Everard it has become even more clear that many attacks on women are sexually motivated.

The signatories argue that it is clear there is a link between the use of pornography and a higher incidence of violence against women and girls

The signatories argue that it is clear there is a link between the use of pornography and a higher incidence of violence against women and girls

The 33-year-old marketing executive disappeared in Clapham, south London, while walking home in March. Her body was discovered a week later in woodland near Ashford, Kent, and a serving police officer has been charged with her murder.

The Daily Mail’s Block Online Porn campaign has called for automatic curbs on adult material on the internet to protect the under-18s.

Ministers have promised a clampdown on web porn as part of the Government’s Online Harms Bill, to be announced next Tuesday in the Queen’s Speech. But the provisions will not come in until 2024, which the signatories say ‘will be too late for some women and children’.

Instead, they called on ministers to enact a previously passed piece of legislation, Part 3 of the Digital Economy Act, which would bring in reforms such as age verification much more quickly.

Ministers have promised a clampdown on web porn as part of the Government’s Online Harms Bill, to be announced next Tuesday

Ministers have promised a clampdown on web porn as part of the Government’s Online Harms Bill, to be announced next Tuesday

The signatories said: ‘The last two months have raised very serious concerns about the safety of women and children in relation to sexual violence. While it is too early to talk in depth about what happened to Sarah Everard, it is clear from the outpouring of stories from women across the country following her death that a very large proportion of attacks on women are sexually motivated.

‘We have also witnessed the impact of the “Everyone’s Invited” website, with over 10,000 rape culture testimonies and revelations about its impact on children through the recent Centre for Social Justice report.

‘In this context, given the growing body of research (including research commissioned by the Government) demonstrating a clear association between pornography consumption and a higher incidence of violence against women and girls, the failure to implement Part 3, in the absence of alternative protections, has become unsustainable.’

Ministers are already facing a judicial review over their failure to implement age verification.

Paul Conrathe, a solicitor with SinclairsLaw, is bringing the legal action on the basis that children are being harmed by the lack of age verification, in breach of the Government’s legal duty to protect them.

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