You Can Now Go To Jail For Sending Revenge Porn In NYC

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Over the past two months, dozens of brave women and men have amplified their voices to take down sexual predators and creeps like Harvey Weinstein, Louis C.K., and Kevin Spacey, who have used their power and influence to sexually harass and assault others. Though the so-called "Weinstein effect" has trickled out of Hollywood and into Washington, at times it's felt like predators who don't share the same level of prestige would go unnoticed and continue to get away with their inexcusable behavior.
Thankfully, New York City is making sure that all despicable offenders, regardless of their social status, can be punished for their actions.
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According to Gizmodo, NYC officially classified revenge porn as a misdemeanor crime through a unanimous vote on Thursday. That's right: From here on out, anyone who sexually harasses someone by posting explicit photos or videos of that person online can now be required to pay a $1,000 fine or serve up to one year of jail time.
Gizmodo reports that while some of the language in the legislation reads a bit iffy — for example, it requires that the offender must show "intent to cause economic, physical, or substantial emotional harm," which can sometimes be hard to prove in court — it is long overdue. Not including NYC, the outlet writes that 38 other states have already criminalized revenge porn, which is important since it impacts an extraordinary number of people.
Business Insider reports that according to a 2016 study by the Data & Society Research Institute, nearly 10 million people in the United States have been "threatened with or victims of" revenge porn.
No one should ever have to fear that another person will release their nude photos to millions of strangers online. And though this legislation won't put a stop to cyber bullying altogether, hopefully it will serve as a deterrent.
If you have experienced sexual violence and are in need of crisis support, please call the RAINN Sexual Assault Hotline at 1-800-656-HOPE (4673).
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