revenge pornWhile the Federal Government shuttered its doors, the California State Legislature quickly passed a law banning “revenge porn,” a misdemeanor with a penalty of up to six months and a $1000 fine. The law is intended to protect individuals from the humiliation of intimate photos being distributed online without prior consent.

The new law defined Revenge Porn as:

Any person who photographs or records by any means the image of the intimate body part or parts of another identifiable person, under circumstances where the parties agree or understand that the image shall remain private, and the person subsequently distributes the image taken, with the intent to cause serious emotional distress, and the depicted person suffers serious emotional distress.

Since ‘emotional distress’ is somewhat vague, it’s probably safe to not share intimate photos (or any photos) unless you have written permission.

Unfortunately, New Jersey is the only other state to have passed similar legislation, though it is categorized as a felony in that state. In states without the law, there are no repercussion for victims of revenge porn, though one could sue for damages. Hopefully, this law will discourage revenge porn, while saving the expense associated with lawsuits.

Perpetrators of revenge porn often post photos of their ex along with  personal information such as email, phone numbers and addresses of victims. There are dedicated websites to revenge porn, and there are, unfortunately, not many legal recourse if you happen to be a victim.

To learn more about the fight against Revenge Porn, visit EndRevengePorn.com or Womenagainstrevengeporn.com.