Adult Victims of Sexual Assault

Fighting Back Against Revenge Porn

By January 2, 2020No Comments

Let’s talk about revenge porn. It’s a lesser discussed topic that can do real damage to a victim’s life and because it’s so infrequently addressed, many people don’t have a strong grasp of what it is. The Cyber Civil Rights Initiative defines nonconsensual pornography (NCP), or revenge porn, as, “the distribution of private, sexually explicit images of individuals without their consent.” It’s vital to note that the defining difference between Revenge Porn and standard pornography is consent.

For Americans 18 and older, viewing and performing in pornography is legal, with the caveat that the appearance is consensual for all parties involved. With revenge porn, that consent is stripped of the victim. While this can take many forms, one of the more common forms is when an ex-partner decides to share nude or suggestive images of the victim as revenge for a bad break up, without the victim’s consent.

This has become a common problem due to the prevalence of social media enabling users to share photos and videos easily. It is a lot more problematic when consent to show the pictures is missing. Chrissy Chambers is a YouTuber who was victimized by her ex-boyfriend when he secretly recorded and uploaded seven videos of the two of them having sex. Mrs. Chambers, being a public figure, suffered substantially financially as her income is dependent on her popularity with the public (the same as her YouTube peers), as well as psychologically. As a result of the gross privacy breach, she was and continues to be sexually harassed online, her place of business. She was met with challenges from every angle, however the biggest of all was the fact that England, the country the videos were uploaded in, had no civil or criminal laws outlawing revenge porn. After a four year long legal battle, the case did settle in her favor, and she has since campaigned and lobbied to have revenge porn laws passed in the U.S. as well.

On a more local scale, Oklahoma enacted a law to criminalize revenge porn in 2016, outlawing the dissemination of images and videos of sexual acts without the consent of all identifiable persons pictured. Unfortunately, not all states have caught up to Oklahoma as only 41 states have revenge porn laws. The solution is not to attempt to criminalize consensual pornography or taking naked photos, but to hold people who publish revenge porn accountable and make it clear that it is unacceptable to publish such images without someone’s consent. 

If you or someone you know has been a victim, contact Koller Trial Law for a free consultation.