Revenge Porn May Soon Be Illegal In This State

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R29-Shot3-Hotel-680-(Julia-Finch's-conflicted-copy-2014-05-15)_LaurenPersteinPhotographed By Lauren Perlstein.
If you need proof that the internet is still a dangerous place, look no further than the many, many women (and men) whose lives have been turned upside-down by revenge porn. Especially in the age of Snapchat and Skype, anyone can become the victim of a vindictive ex posting sexy shots for all to see. The worst part is that there are very few options for those seeking justice in revenge porn cases. While a good lawyer (and a lot of money) can help regain control of your online identity, there aren't many laws that ensure perpetrators are punished for their crimes.

This makes recent news from the New York State Senate a very big deal: The legislative body has passed a law making it illegal to distribute "revenge porn." Defined by the NY State Senate as "the dissemination of sexually intimate images or images of intimate parts of another person without that person's explicit consent in order to harm, harass, scare or alarm that individual," the first offense would qualify as a misdemeanor, with a sentence of up to a year in jail. A repeat offense would be considered a felony, and prison time could reach up to four years.

Currently, New Yorkers are protected from the posting of intimate photos that are taken without their knowledge. Of course, the problem with revenge porn is that these photos and videos presumably begin within a positive relationship — and are used to ruin a reputation later on. The new legislation would protect victims regardless of who originally created the images or videos, and whether or not the victim consented to their creation at the time.

Of course, the bill now has to pass the state assembly before it becomes law. Fingers crossed that New Yorkers will soon have one less relationship horror to worry about.