Fast Exit > 0

Shame the Abuser Not the Victim

C. A. Goldberg PLLC

Shame the Abuser Not the Victim

November 4, 2016

Just don’t take naked pictures. 

It’s your fault for sending them in the first place. 

I would never be stupid enough to email videos of myself.

You asked for it.

That’s only a small sampling of the punitive knee-jerk responses victims of revenge porn constantly hear. Unsurprisingly, it’s a variant of the same victim-blaming that has plagued the anti-sexual assault movement for decades. Although 34 states + Washington, D.C. now have laws against revenge porn victims report feeling judged, criticized, or shamed by friends or family.

Here is why having a dismissive attitude towards someone being revenge porn-ed is wrong.

It exposes ignorance. The type of revenge porn that is growing in frequency is more awful than people understand. Victims have their full names and other identifying information attached to their photos, causing strangers to call or show up at their homes asking for sex. Other victims find themselves on numerous porn websites. This is scary. This is shocking. This is criminal.

It implies tolerance of the perpetrator’s behavior. Anyone would be devastated if their intimate photos were circulated on Reddit or emailed to their bosses. The mere thought of that kind of violation is enough to make anyone’s blood boil. Yet, when it actually happens to victims the response is contemptuous. Suddenly, they’re the ones who should’ve known better, and the abhorrent behavior of the perpetrator is widely ignored. If there is no public shaming or consequences facing them why would they stop?

It’s a form of sexual violence and exploitation. A person gets to decide who can see her naked body – not a lover, spouse, friend, or jilted ex. When revenge porn perpetrators upload someone else’s intimate photos, they are exploiting that person and exposing her to violence, both on- and off-line.

It can cause severe professional damages. If an employer Googles a qualified applicant’s name – a common practice these days – and discovers compromising pictures or videos, the job will most likely never be offered to her. Similarly, revenge porn victims face termination and/or suspension when their photos are leaked. The trend of punishing the victims of this reprehensible act is disturbing and needs to be stopped.

It can cause severe personal damages. Anxiety. Depression. Loss of appetite. Constant concern for safety. Lack of self-esteem. The mental effects of revenge porn are long-lasting and crippling.

Revenge porn is a crime. Shame the abuser not the victim.

If you are the victim of revenge porn, schedule a consult with one of our attorneys by calling (646) 666 – 8908 or sending an inquiry.