Victims of revenge porn often have nowhere to turn to

Ooi Sue Hwei

KUALA LUMPUR: Jenny’s boyfriend was trying to persuade her to strip and pose in the nude for him. He said the photographs he would take of her would be for his eyes only.

He promised that they would be stored in his computer and kept safe.

She believed him.

But when they broke up, the photographs surfaced. He threatened to post the pictures online and then provide a link to her family, her friends and even her employer. Her nightmare had just begun.

Had Jenny been living in California, she would have been in less of a quandary. Governor Jerry Brown has signed into law a Bill criminalising revenge porn, a privacy-breaching act by a former spouse or ex-lover to distribute one’s private and explicit photos on the Internet with intent to humiliate the victim.

For most victims, the photos usually appear online only months or even years later, typically after a bad break-up. Under the new statute in California, it is an offence for individuals to take pictures of a person in the nude under the mutual understanding that those images are to remain private, but subsequently circulated without permission such images online with the intent to harass or annoy.

For a first-time offender, a conviction will lead to a six-month jail term and a US$1,000 (RM3,150) fine. In California, it is already a crime to take sexually explicit photos or video images of another person without his or her consent or knowledge.

The measure addresses the increasingly prevalent act of betrayal that typically occurs when a person posts nude images of a former romantic partner online as a way of exacting revenge after a break-up. The images often end up on dozens of revenge porn websites that specialise in publishing such pictures, some of which charge the victims a fee to remove the offending material.

For full story, read http://www.theantdaily.com/news/2014/01/30/victims-revenge-porn-often-have-nowhere-turn

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