THE Police and Crime Commissioner for North Yorkshire has hit out at the Minister for Justice over his response to her revenge porn campaign.

Julia Mulligan and 31-year-old North Yorkshire mother-of-one Keeley Richards-Shaw, who was a victim of revenge porn, launched a campaign last year to give victims the same right to anonymity as victims of sexual assault cases.

Ms Richards-Shaw, from Scarborough, was named in national newspapers, who also used images of her taken from social media, after her ex-boyfriend Alex Brewer became the first person to be sentenced under the new law last year, for sharing intimate photos taken without her knowledge.

More than 15,000 people have now signed an online petition urging the change from the Ministry of Justice, but Mrs Mulligan said she was disturbed to discover the Ministry would not change what she called "a horrible legal anomaly".

Victims Minister Mike Penning said he would not seek to change the law, because revenge porn, despite shared pictures or videos containing sexual images, was more akin to blackmail; a crime which does not automatically give anonymity to the victim.

Mrs Mulligan said: "We’ve always seen the failure to provide anonymity to victims of revenge porn as a horrible legal anomaly. But to hear from the Government that it does not regard revenge porn as a sexual offence is disturbing.

"Frankly I cannot agree with the minister that revenge porn is not a form of sexual offence. While I understand the legal points he makes, I think to compare revenge porn with blackmail is to overlook the uniquely intimate nature of the crime. Revenge porn is about shaming women primarily and inflicting psychological distress. Ironically, as things stand, the system that aims to brings perpetrators to justice appears to be colluding with them in the harm it causes victims."

Ms Richards-Shaw and Mrs Mulligan have been invited to discuss the matter with Mr Penning, which Mrs Mulligan said they would do "as a matter of urgency".

Ms Richards-Shaw said: "How anyone can fail to see revenge porn as a sexual crime is beyond me. And of course the worse thing about it is that is almost always done by someone that is trusted by the victim. For me that makes it a sexual crime and I truly believe that any reasonable person would view it in the same light."

Mrs Mulligan said: "While I understand the need for open justice, there are already clear exceptions to this in place and I believe revenge porn should be another. Keeley has lived through this devastating experience and knows better than anyone the pain it can cause."

To find out more or to sign the petition, go to