Netherlands new revenge porn law feels like victory: victim

The new government’s plan to make revenge porn a separate and punishable offense, feels like a victory for Chantal from Werkendam – the Netherlands best known victim of revenge porn, her lawyer Thomas van Vugt said to Eindhovens Dagblad.

Currently, victims of revenge porn – when an ex or someone puts sexual photos or videos of you online as an act of revenge – can only press charges of slander or defamation against the perpetrator. That usually ends in a fine. According to the new government of VVD, CDA, D66 and ChristenUnie, the spreading of revenge porn deeply affects victims’ personal lives. At the initiative of the ChristenUnie, they therefore decided to make it a separate criminal offense in the future.

“It is highly necessary that revenge porn is included as an independent criminal act in the Criminal Code. We no longer live in the Stone Age, but in a time in which we use modern communication tools daily”, lawyer Van Vugt said to the newspaper. “You can destroy someone’s life with just a few pushes on a button. People need to be aware of that. Hopefully a high prison sentence will work as a deterrent.”

According to Van Vugt, the now 24-year-old Chantal is incredibly proud and happy that revenge porn will be added to the criminal code soon. “Through her and the summary proceeding against Facebook, the political ball started rolling. For this purpose she went public in 2015: not only to help herself, but also future victims of revenge porn. That’s what’s happening now and that’s great.”