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Push to bring ‘revenge porn’ to an end

Push to bring 'revenge porn' to an endThe Minister for Women, Michaelia Cash, is hoping to bring ‘revenge porn’ to an end by introducing an online complaints mechanism for victims.

The mechanism aims to confront angry partners who use technology and social media to share intimate images of former spouses.

The move will be funded from the existing $100 million allocation in the budget.

“Sexual violence is a heinous crime and revenge porn is a grave violation of a person’s freedom,” Senator Cash said.

In April, three Melbourne teenagers were victims of revenge porn.

According to Fairfax, 18-year-old Jess Treloar-Walker, was horrified to find nude photos of herself had been shared on a revenge porn Facebook page.

She said she felt she’d been promoted as a “sex toy”.

“He pretty much just said that I deserved to be exposed. It’s their way of getting back at us,” she said.

“I was so confused, I hadn’t done anything wrong by him. It was so disgusting, I was so angry.”

It is understood images of the victims were taken from Snapchat, some were stolen and videos had been taken ‘mid-act’.

Photo and images were previously being shared to a hidden Facebook page called ‘Melbourne Men’s Society’, which reportedly had 7000 members and another 4500 awaiting approval.

The group has since been shut down.

The harrowing tales echo Senator Cash’s sentiment that more protection is needed to avoid more people becoming victim to these revenge cases.… Read the rest

Hillary Clinton Just Promised to Take on Revenge Porn

Hillary Clinton vows to take on revenge porn if electedIt’s not a topic typically discussed on the presidential campaign trail, but Hillary Clinton said on Tuesday that if she were elected President, she would do whatever she could to help fight revenge porn.

Clinton was hosting a live-streamed town hall on Tuesday and taking questions from YouTube stars and other online content creators when she was asked a question about the topic, according to New York magazine.

YouTube star Chrissy Chambers, who has spoken publicly about being a victim of revenge porn, said, “In 2015 I came out as one of the first public figures who was a victim of revenge porn… And ever since have been trying to pursue justice for myself as well as other victims.”

Chrissy told The Guardian in an interview that when she was 18, her then-boyfriend assaulted her and filmed the pair having sex while she was extremely intoxicated. Chrissy didn’t remember the encounter and wasn’t aware that he filmed it until a year after they broke up, when he allegedly uploaded the video to porn sites.

By the time the video began circulating, Chrissy had already created a successful YouTube channel with her new love, Bria, and when their fans discovered the video they began angrily commenting on YouTube, calling Chrissy a “slut,” she told The Guardian. Chrissy is suing her ex-boyfriend in England, where he allegedly uploaded the video, which now has revenge porn laws on the books.

Chrissy asked Clinton what she would do to ensure that justice can be pursued for survivors of that sort of harassment. While the former First Lady was a bit startled by the inquiry at first, she quickly composed herself and acknowledged that negativity can be rampant online and noted that she was “Exhibit A.”

“I will do everything I can as president, to try and figure out how we can give victims like you, the tools you need, and the rest of society should support, to be able to protect yourself and by doing so, protect others,” Clinton responded.

The presumptive Democratic nominee then thanked Chrissy for her bravery in speaking out on the difficult topic.

Currently, 34 states have laws that deal with revenge porn in some manner, but there is still no federal law criminalizing it. A president who’s committed to tackling all forms of online bullying could offer significant weight to the fight to protect victims of this sort of crime.
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michigan law specifically outlaws revenge porn

New Michigan Law Against ‘Revenge Porn’

Although issues related to sending sexually explicit photos via a mobile phone or other device is something many people associate more often with teens, the practice can lead to trouble for adults, too.

In recent years many cases have appeared in which a person has shared images with a significant other and then when the relationship ends the private image is shared with others as a means of hurting the other person.

Cases like this have come to be known as “revenge porn” or “cyber revenge,” and until recently, Michigan prosecutor’s have had a difficult time prosecuting the cases because there hasn’t been a law directly dealing with such cases.

Last year one such case popped up in Michigan’s Charlevoix County. The defendant in the case was ultimately charged with one count of unlawful posting of a message, a two-year charge.

However a new Michigan state law that Gov. Rick Snyder signed recently now specifically criminalizes the distribution of sexually-explicit materials intended to threaten, coerce, or intimidate.

In a news release issued last week Charlevoix County Prosecuting Attorney Allen Telgenhof noted that revenge porn cases often occur after a break-up, when one partner distributes intimate material sent during the couple’s relationship.

Under the new law, a person who distributes sexually explicit materials with the intent to threaten, coerce, or intimidate another person faces a $500 fine and up to 93 days in jail. A second offense can result in a $1,000 fine and a year in jail.

“Our office is pleased to see the bipartisan support these bills have received,” said Charlevoix County Assistant Prosecuting Attorney Gregory Justis. “It’s another tool in our toolbox to respond to the tremendous rise in the use of social media to engage in domestic abuse and cyber harassment.”

State legislators have tried since 2014 to pass a law targeting revenge porn or non-consensual pornography. With the new law, Michigan joins 27 other states with statutes specifically designed to prevent and respond to revenge porn.

The bills were sponsored by Sen. Steve Bieda, D-Warren, and Sen. Rick Jones, R-Grand Ledge.

“The new law balances our cherished freedoms of speech with the need to address behavior intended solely to harm another person, often seriously and irreversibly,” said Justis, who primarily handles cases involving domestic violence and criminal sexual conduct. “Revenge porn is about control and abuse, and the law targets only those who intend to engage in control and abuse.”

“It will also help shift the focus away from innocent victims, who are often blamed for their own victimization, to those who commit a serious crime,” he said.

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Revenge porn not ‘free expression’

Revenge porn not free expression

Last week, the country was outraged by a loophole in Oklahoma law that allowed a rapist to walk because the incident involved oral sex upon an intoxicated girl. A few days later, the Legislature pushed through another sexually-charged measure that probably already should have been on the books, but wasn’t.

By the time you read this, Gov. Mary Fallin may have signed into law Senate Bill 1257, which will make the dissemination of so-called “revenge pornography” a misdemeanor. The bill doesn’t ban publication of explicit images per se, though many of the staunchly religious at the statehouse would do so if that pesky First Amendment didn’t prevent them. SB 1257 prohibits the use of such material with the intent of harassing or humiliating its subject – which most of the time is a woman.

There have been many cases where an individual has allowed her partner to take racy photos either of her as an individual or as part of a couple or group. Then later, the couple has divorced or separated, and the bitter man gets back at his former lover by broadcasting the private images all over the Internet. Sometimes men are the victims.

It doesn’t take much imagination to figure out what could happen. A prospective employer Googles the woman’s name, and up pop the private pictures. That might not be an issue for some employers, but for the more traditional among them, the phrase “moral turpitude” comes to mind. An otherwise highly qualified woman could be denied a job for which she is ideally suited just because of a “mistake” she made years ago, even if that mistake didn’t involve breaking the law.

SB 1257 makes it a crime to disseminate an “identifiable” image of someone who is nude or engaged in sexual conduct, if the image was gleaned in a way that a “reasonable person” would understand it was private; and if the image was made public with the intent to “harass, intimidate, or coerce” the subject, who clearly didn’t intend the photo for public consumption. Upon conviction, the perpetrator could be jailed by the county for up to a year, and fined up to $1,000. A judge can also order the photo’s eradication, if possible.

The law won’t stop everyone from taking revenge in this way, but it might slow down many people who would act on the spur of the moment, then later regret it.

The most ardent free speech advocates may cry foul over SB 1257, but the constitutional right to “free expression” is not absolute. In other words, you should not have the right to express yourself in a way that will destroy someone else’s life. Even the media must take into account the questions of libel, defamation of character, and invasion of privacy.

With the latter two standards, even if the material is accurate or true – in other words, not libelous – that doesn’t necessarily make it fair game. Lawsuits can erupt when publication of material is deemed to cross those lines. If the professional media must adhere to these standards, then in these days of widespread Internet access and social media interactions, the general public should adhere to them, too.

Revenge never ends well, and it should be eschewed, both in public and in private.

Please note: Parts of this story were removed because we felt the comments were victim blaming.

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Sex education key to preventing revenge porn as 30% of cases involve under 19

For that first time, police numbers have exposed that around 30% of documented incidents of revenge porn concerned young adults under the age of 19.  In the months since April 2015, when it was criminalized, a Freedom of Information request by the BBC has revealed that over 1,000 incidents were reported to the police.

Revenge porn is the act of releasing private videos or pictures of sexual nature without the spouse or ex-partner’s permission.

17 -year-old Daniel Perry killed himself after he was blackmailed over erotic pictures he’d published online.  Additional victims have talked within the aftermath of the crime of the suicidal thoughts. In three cases, children as young as 11 were the victims.

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teens problems - revenge porn victims

Other victims have spoken of their suicidal feelings in the aftermath of the crime.

While the three youngest ­victims were only 11, the oldest were in their 60s.

Helplines say that members of law enforcement, teachers and social workers in their 20s and 30s are just as likely to fall prey as naive teenagers.

Experts say it can also be part of the “coercive control” exerted by manipulative and violent partners over their victims.

“This is a large and growing problem, and is causing huge amounts of harm to victims,” says former Lib Dem MP Julian Huppert, who campaigned for the legislation which made revenge porn an offense.

“Too many perpetrators managed to persuade themselves that they were doing nothing wrong because it wasn’t illegal, and that has now changed.

“However, legislation can only ever be part of the solution – what we need is much better consent-based sex and relationships education, so that people are clear that this kind of humiliating behavior in unacceptable. Social change is the best way to protect people.”

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Social media has made bullying among teenagers even more invasive for victims

An NSPCC spokesman said: “It is shocking that children as young as 11 are becoming ­victims of revenge porn – and underlines the urgent need for action by social media sites to improve safety.

“Young people also need to be aware of the serious risks of sending explicit material or ­photos of themselves. Once an image is sent there is no control over where it will end up or who will see it.”

Sarah Green, director of the campaign group End Violence Against Women, said that women’s charities have been aware for some time that revenge porn “often forms part of a pattern of domestic and sexual violence”.

“The threat of it can be used to coercively control victims, just as the threat of withdrawing access to children can be used to manipulate and harass,” she said.

“We were delighted when the Government brought in this law but we think the protection of anonymity, as there is for victims in other sex crimes, would make people more likely to come forward.

“We also think that compulsory sex education, challenging the culture in schools which regards sexually active girls as ‘slags’ and ‘whores’ is essential. The concept of consent extends to spreading sexual images too.

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revenge porn victims deserve anonymity

“The comparison we would draw is with drink-driving, when a change in the law changed ­attitudes over time. It’s not the case that our internet culture somehow makes revenge porn inevitable.”

Carolyn Bunting, general manager of internet safety body Internet Matters, said: “The fact more than three out of 10 ­incidents of so-called revenge appears to involve under 19 year olds brings to the fore how important it is for children to be protected online so they’re able to explore the digital world ­without fear.

“There will no doubt be many more who are victims and have not reported it to the police and are suffering in silence.

“Our main focus is to help parents stop their children falling into this trap in the first place, through communication and education.

“It’s always a tricky conversation to have, but we’d encourage parents to talk to their children about the danger of sending explicit images.”

 

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YouTube Sensation Opens Up About Her Revenge Porn Legal Battle

 

(NEW YORK) — Chrissy Chambers is one half of the YouTube sensation “BriaAndChrissy,” a singing duo whose message of LGBT empowerment has earned them hundreds of thousands of followers.

But it was a different kind of attention that suddenly spun Chambers’ world out of control. One day, she started getting disturbing comments like these from followers calling her a “slut,” a “hypocrite” and “disgusting.”

Chambers said she had no idea what was happening, but eventually she discovered that a sex tape of her with her ex-boyfriend had been posted online.

“It was single handedly probably one of the hardest moments of my life,” Chambers said. “I found out after Googling myself it was just — it was such a horrific pain like to be hit with a baseball bat. … I literally just collapsed on the floor.”

It wasn’t just the shock that a sex tape had been made public. It was also that it existed at all because Chambers said she has no memory of making the video.

Chambers said her ex-boyfriend secretly taped himself having sex with her while she was passed out drunk then allegedly released the video online three years ago. She calls it an online attack.

“I had been assaulted because I was unconscious when the videos were filmed,” she said. “Someone was posting on our channel links to the videos to our fans and we couldn’t even keep up … that this person you cared about so much could betray you in such an intense way. It was horrific.”

Chambers said the trauma surrounding her alleged cyber assault impacts every aspect of her life.

“The biggest thing I feel I lost in my life was the feeling of control … control over my own body, my image, it was just so damaging in so many ways but that invasion of privacy is such a sharp sword,” she said.

And with a public career built around sharing her life with fans though posting videos online, it was those viewer comments she said that cut deep.

“It was really hard because after the videos came out we heard from some of our subscribers, you know, ‘I’ve been watching for a while but I can’t respect somebody who would do this, or is a slut and a whore, I can’t look up to you,’ and it broke our hearts every time we read something like that,” Chambers said.

Chambers said she is one of many victims of revenge porn, which is a form of non-consensual porn or the distribution of sexually graphic images without consent.

Carrie Goldberg, a New York-based attorney who handles Internet privacy and sexual consent cases, said revenge porn “could be a rape video that’s gone viral or pictures that were originally created and distributed with the context of an intimate relationship.”

There are an estimated 2,000 websites dedicated to revenge pornography worldwide — websites where often jilted exes post intimate photos or video at a former lover’s expense. It’s a cyber-threat that’s difficult to track and even harder to prosecute.

“The biggest frustration that I hear from clients is, I mean, everyone wants their images taken down, and they want to sue the website,” Goldberg said. “There are actually federal laws that immunize online service providers for content that other people post.

“It’s still oftentimes really, really hard to get law enforcers to take complaints seriously and to get investigators and detectives to use their limited resources to investigate these cases, and to get prosecutors and judges to also see these cases through the end,” she added.

Goldberg said 80 percent of her cases are related to revenge porn.

“When clients contact me, they are in the middle of a tornado. It’s a crisis moment,” she said. “They’re often hysterical, crying. They can’t see beyond this and so they think for the rest of their life they’re always going to be exposed on the Internet.”

For Chrissy Chambers, the road to justice has already been long and hard, complicated in part because Chambers said her alleged offender posted the footage in England, forcing her to file suit overseas. ABC News’ efforts to reach the ex-boyfriend were not successful.

“They didn’t have a revenge porn law yet and just felt like we were getting shunned and pushed away. We felt so helpless,” Chambers said. “They would say, ‘I’m so sorry this happened to you, but we can’t help because we don’t have a revenge porn law,’ or ‘since he was in another country that was just too much. It’s out of our hands.’ And while it was in enraging it was just more devastating.”

England and Wales have a revenge porn law on the books now, but the law doesn’t apply to Chambers’ case because her alleged assault happened before their law was in place.

Attorney Ann Olivarius and her team plan to bring a civil suit against Chambers’ alleged offender. While a civil suit is often an option in the United States, it would be the first of its kind in England.

The fight against revenge porn has come a long way in recent years, spurred on by other advocates, with 27 states and the District of Columbia passing specific criminal laws to protect against it. Activist groups like the Cyber Civil Rights Initiative are working for victims to provide online resources, legal support and even a crisis helpline. Tech companies like Twitter, Google and Microsoft now offer tools for users who wish to de-link or remove images they claim to be revenge porn.

Chambers and her girlfriend Bria Kam have been chronicling their journey on their YouTube channel, and there are also notes of hope. Some viewers have commented that they sympathize with Chambers’ situation.

“It’s just incredible how, like we have seen the darkest side of the Internet. But we’ve also seen the most beautiful side of the Internet,” Kam said.

Chambers has also used their YouTube channel as a platform to encourage reform and her quest for change has also led her to petition for a federal law to criminalize revenge porn.

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Revenge porn victim from Cheshunt speaks out after fitness model Christopher Spearman dodges jail

 

A fitness model whose private photographs were leaked online in a revenge porn attack has hit out at her tormentor.

The woman, who did not want to be named, told the Mercury she was coming to terms with the death of her mother in a car crash, as well as the death of her ex-boyfriend Simon Andrews, a motorbike racer killed on the track in 2014.

The woman, who lives in Cheshunt, lost modelling work after ex-lover Christopher Spearman shared sexual images of her on social media.

The woman said Spearman, a 26-year-old fitness fanatic who has appeared on the cover of For Men magazine, was “manipulative” and bombarded her with calls after their breakup.

“I was still trying to come to terms with mum’s death and Simon’s,” said the model, who is in her 20s.

“He sent images to friends and family and anyone I had been in contact with. It lost me a year’s work on a film and some boxing contracts I had.”

The images were shared on fake Twitter accounts in September, and the victim said callous Spearman called her to tell her what he had done.

“He posted one lot of photos on Twitter and then called me five minutes later and told me he had done it,” she told the Mercury.

“He kind of laughed about it. It was up for at least an hour.

“Then the next day or two it got posted again and sent to friends and fans and followers I had.”

The model said Spearman, who is studying to be a doctor and is listed as a director of U-Turn Clothing, would message her asking to get back together.

She said: “I told him I didn’t want anything to do with him and then he got really nasty. He said he had nothing to lose.

“I thought, I have nothing to lose, I lost my family. I have nothing left.”

She added: “He was really manipulative. When Simon died, my mum said to him, ‘Promise me you’ll look after her’. So he would use that against me.”

Spearman, of Addison Gardens, London, pleaded guilty to two counts of sharing private sexual images when he appeared at Stevenage Magistrates’ Court on Tuesday.

He was given two concurrent 12-week prison sentences, suspended for 18 months, and ordered to pay £465 in fines and court costs.

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Blackhawks reinstate prospect Garret Ross after revenge porn charges dropped

Garret Ross

Criminal charges have been dropped against a Blackhawks prospect accused of sending revenge porn to a woman involved with one of his teammates, a spokeswoman for the DeKalb County state’s attorney said Tuesday.

Garret Ross, 23, who plays for the Hawks’ AHL affiliate in Rockford, was charged with the felony last month after authorities alleged he shared an image of a woman engaged in a sexual act without her consent. The team suspended him indefinitely after learning about the criminal case last week.

Prosecutors dropped the case after learning Ross was in his home state of Michigan when he shared the image, meaning Illinois law enforcement has no jurisdiction. The case was officially dropped Tuesday afternoon, DeKalb County State’s Attorney Richard Schmack said.

The woman in the video lives in Sycamore and had filed a complaint with her local police department.

“This is not a crime that occurred in the state of Illinois,” Schmack said. “Further investigation revealed that Ross and the recipient were both in Michigan at the time.”

The Hawks announced Tuesday night they have reinstated Ross from his indefinite suspension with the Rockford IceHogs.

Ross’ attorney did not return calls seeking comment.

The woman in the video told authorities in September she had been in a romantic relationship with one of Ross’ IceHogs teammates but ended it when she learned he had a girlfriend. During their relationship, she said she exchanged nude video and pictures with the player, according to police reports obtained under the Freedom of Information Act.

The player and his girlfriend broke up after the girlfriend learned he was meeting other women via Tinder, according to the woman’s statement to police. Ross’ girlfriend also dumped him for the same Tinder-related reason, the woman said.

Both players blamed the Sycamore woman for “spreading lies” to their girlfriends, though the woman denied their allegation, the report states.

The woman asked that both Ross and his teammate — whose name was redacted from the police records — be charged criminally. The teammate has not been charged, police said.

Ross was charged Feb. 2 after a four-month investigation in which investigators obtained a search warrant for his cellphone. He was released on bond and given permission to travel out of state while he awaited trial.

The winger continued to play for the IceHogs after he was charged. He has played in 59 games and has seven goals and 13 assists, but he has not played since mid-March. Ross, whom the Hawks drafted in the fifth round in 2012, never has played a game for the Hawks and will be a restricted free agent after the season.

Revenge porn became a felony in Illinois in June, making the crime punishable by up to three years in prison and a fine of up to $25,000. The law also requires the forfeiture of any money or goods received in exchange for posting the images.

The woman could still file a complaint in Michigan, though the state’s laws are not as strict as the Illinois law.

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Man charged with posting “revenge porn” says ex-girlfriend is lying

RICHMOND, Va. — A Richmond man has been charged under the revenge porn statute but he claims his ex-girlfriend is actually the one seeking revenge on him.

Twenty-three-year-old Corey Alexander said he got quite a surprise last week to find out from his probation officer that he was being hit with another charge: unlawful dissemination of an image, also known as revenge porn.

“It hurt me real bad, man,” said Alexander Monday. “I want to cry, but I can’t.”

Alexander said his ex is drumming up charges that are more than a year old, and CBS 6 legal experts said he may have a good defense.

Corey Alexander

“She sent the videos to me and we agreed,” Alexander said. “I’ve got proof. I’m innocent.”

“The revenge porn statute is designed to prohibit people from posting online to intimidate or harass,” said CBS 6 legal analyst Todd Stone.

Alexander said he did neither. He points out the videos were not posted to social media, but to an X-rated porn site where you can upload amateur videos.

Alexander showed CBS 6 where his ex-girlfriend sent the videos to him via email. He said he believes the charge has surfaced now, more than a year later, for one reason:

“She’s jealous because I’ve moved on,” he said.

Stone said if what Alexander is saying is the truth, then he has a solid defense.

“It looks like she waited and took a warrant out and if she really doesn’t have an explanation for that, then that’s something a judge will take into consideration.”

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Man ordered to attend counseling after revenge porn confession

Man ordered to seek counseling after posting revenge porn

Revenge porn landed a New Jersey man in mental-health counseling.

Christopher Morcos, 23, of Passaic, was sentenced to five years’ probation and must talk with a counselor after pleading guilty to posting nude shots of his ex, along with her personal information, on a porn site.

Morcos and the woman dated for two years before they split in November 2014. Three months later, she got a strange text, she said.

“I had received a text message from a random number saying that they had seen me on my page on Pornhub.com,” said the 20-year-old woman, who spoke on condition of anonymity.

She  later found the porn page, which included her full name, phone number and address, she said Morcos pleaded guilty and was sentenced last week.

http://nypost.com/2016/03/27/revenge-porn-confession-leads-young-man-to-counseling/

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