“Revenge porn on the rise” by Sula Kim

A victim of what is commonly known as “revenge porn” shares some of the devastating effects of this crime. This is an excerpt from a recent article published by WDSU News. The source of this excerpt is http://www.wdsu.com/news/local-news/new-orleans/revenge-porn-on-the-rise/25931334

It’s malicious and vindictive, meant to embarrass an ex-lover forever.

“Revenge porn” is when a scorned ex-lover posts a naked picture or video of their former boyfriend or girlfriend online, and it is perfectly legal.

image courtesy of WDSU News

image courtesy of WDSU News

The naked pictures were taken while they were in an intimate, trusting relationship.
But once they broke up– an anonymous woman’s ex boyfriend posted private pictures of her on a revenge porn website.

“It was out of my control. I didn’t consent to putting it up there. I didn’t know what to do and I basically broke down after, I just didn’t know how to deal with it.” said one victim, who didn’t want to be identified.

As if the embarrassment wasn’t enough, next to the pictures were her contact information, including her cellphone number and social media profile, which opened up the gates for strangers to harass her.

“I received upwards to 75-100 calls a week. The guys called me a slut. They called me a whore. They called me every name under the sun, saying I must have wanted them to call me,” she said.

We checked some websites that cater to this kind of activity and found dozens of local victims.

Loyola law professor Dane Ciolino says aside from a lawsuit, there’s not much that can be done to prosecute the angry ex-lover.

[…]

“Digital Millenium Copyright Act gives protections to the copyright holder,” said Bryan Cox, of U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement. Basically, the owner of the photograph or video can do whatever he or she wants with it.

State Representative Helena Moreno is disturbed about this. She says laws need to catch up with the digital age.

“I didn’t know this was such a growing problem. If any victims want to contact me and tell me their stories I’d love to hear from them and see where we can go from there,” said Moreno.

In the meantime victims are suffering with humiliation and shame and little hope of redemption.

[…]

Arizona recently passed legislation that would penalize revenge porn. It’s one of several states now that have laws making revenge porn illegal.

This is a significantly shortened excerpt. To read the full article, please visit the WDSU News website http://www.wdsu.com/news/local-news/new-orleans/revenge-porn-on-the-rise/25931334

Sula Kim joined WDSU as an anchor and reporter in May 2012.