Intimate revenge video puts Swede behind bars

A Swedish court has sentenced a man to prison for repeatedly publishing an intimate video featuring his ex-girlfriend.

Intimate revenge video puts Swede behind bars
An unrelated picture of an intimate moment. Photo: Agostino Zamboni/Flickr

The local Smålandsposten newspaper reported on Thursday that Växjö District Court has sentenced a 31-year-old man to eight months in prison for aggravated slander. The man will also have to pay 144,000 kronor ($22,000) in damages to his former partner. 

He was also convicted of assault, perverting the course of justice, and of having harassed his ex-girlfriend. 

Smålandsposten reported that his victim had to seek counselling for the stress caused by the video, which was re-uploaded time and again. It was viewed by as many as 3,000 people, the court ruling stated, and while the woman again and again managed to have the intimate video removed, her ex-boyfriend simply republished it. 

The ruling also found that the man had made sure that her name was attached to the video, which in turn lead to many friend requests on the social media site Facebook, as well as propositions that his victim described as lewd.

Sweden has struggled with the new "revenge porn" trend, in which one person sets out on purpose to degrade or embarrass a former partner by publishing videos or images of their sexual contact. 

Swedish psychologists have said the behaviour was a way to express power, as well as to deal with negative feelings. The trend is also common among the younger generation.

"The times that I've encountered this, it's been about disappointment, revenge, and jealousy from the boy's side,"  Olof Risberg, psychologist at the boys' mental health clinic Pojkmottagningen in Stockholm, told the Aftonbladet newspaper earlier this year.

"But it's also about power. There is power in exacting revenge." 

The Swedish translation of revenge porn – "hämndporr" – was included in the annual neologism list last year, which recognizes new terms that enter everyday speech in Sweden. 

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