Why We Need To Criminalize ‘Consensual’ Revenge Porn

God & Man

I am a victim of Internet revenge porn and slander and I don’t mean just on one site. When I discovered what my ex-abuser had done, there were over 20 websites with personal information, slanderous remarks, and pictures of me.

On three official porn sites there are 18 photos of me fully naked with my face exposed, close-ups of all my private areas, even close ups of my stretch marks from when I gave birth. Of these 18 pictures posted my by abuser, 10 of them are pictures I took myself and sent to my ex for his eyes only based on the trust of our marriage. The other eight photos were taken without my knowledge and posted to the same site.

Regardless of whether I consented to taking the photos or whether I did not, I’ve suffered the same emotional distress and a life in shambles as a result of these pictures being posted online without my consent. I’ve been humiliated and ashamed of people even knowing my name. I’m afraid to meet anyone new and tell them my name for fear that they will find these images.

I have a 5-year-old who one day could be exposed to these pictures of his mom, his only parent in his life. He has no father. So please explain to me how some lawmakers and state assembly members have taken a stance toward making consensual pictures not illegal. How does a combination of both consensual and non-consensual pictures posted without consent have different legal standings when the victim has to deal with the consequences of both? The damage is the same to the victim, whether I took the pictures myself of not. But the current law says the opposite.

Just because I consented to taking some pictures for my ex, I never consented to him using them to abuse me more than he already has by harassing me and causing future harm to my life. This type of abuse/revenge porn should have the same laws and rules in place as those dictated toward TV or radio. Whether you’ve been interviewed on TV or radio, your consent is required before the program or interview can be aired. No victim gives consent to revenge porn being posted to the Internet.

Consensual pictures are different from consensual pictures that are posted on the Internet non-consensually. It makes absolutely no sense that posted pictures taken consensually or non-consensually are not protected by the same law. It’s a double standard. It has to change. The perpetrator should have to face the same consequences – just like victims have suffered the same consequences.

New York must criminalize so-called consensual revenge porn. If you ask me, the current law is criminal.

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