New York Lawmakers Introduce Legislation to Criminalize Revenge Porn

It is refreshing to hear someone talk about revenge porn like it’s a crime. To hear people acknowledge that nobody deserves to be harassed and violated is something many victims have been waiting years for.

It is even more exciting to hear those sentiments coming from lawmakers like Assemblyman Edward C. Braunstein, who stated, “Disseminating sexual explicit images that were shared with an expectation of privacy can cause lasting damage to victims and should be a crime.”

Fresh on the heels of Sen. Anthony Cannella’s victory against revenge porn in California, Assemblyman Braunstein and Sen. Joseph A. Griffo of New York announced Thursday that they are introducing new legislation criminalizing revenge porn.

“This so-called phenomena of ‘cyber-revenge,’ is a tawdry form of exploitation. From what we know, the majority of its victims are women who don’t know that their images and likenesses [have] been bartered and sold over the Internet,” said Sen. Griffo. “Currently, these victims have limited options when their pictures taken with their consent, were posted online.”

The legislation is especially promising because Mary Anne Franks, an Associate Professor of Law at the University of Miami who wrote the legislative proposal for End Revenge Porn, helped draft the bill. The bipartisan effort would make New York the third state, behind New Jersey and California, to pass a law against revenge porn. Cyber Civil Rights Initiative founder, Dr. Holly Jacobs, has repeatedly stated that revenge porn is a problem that will continue to grow if it is not addressed through appropriate legislation.

Assemblyman Braunstein agreed with that position, stating, “Passage of this legislation would make it clear that New Yorkers will not allow this type of harassment to continue. With the proliferation of cell phones and social networking, this problem will only get worse if we do not take immediate action.” Finding supportive lawmakers is key to ending revenge porn, but changing laws is only half the battle. Our goal is to change public attitudes that lead to victim blaming and allow revenge porn to go unaddressed.

Show your support for this law and help change the public discourse by participating in the discussion on Twitter and Facebook.

 

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