Revenge Porn Victimizes Area Women

SCRANTON — Women’s Rights advocates said many in Pennsylvania are being harassed by a form of revenge that leaves victims embarrassed and humiliated.

It`s called “Revenge Porn,” where bitter men send explicit pictures of their “exes” to websites, and the practice is not against the law in many states, including Pennsylvania, at least for now.

One single mother from our area spoke to us about the problem. She doesn’t want her face shown or her name revealed.

That’s because five nude pictures of her were posted online, complete with her name, hometown, and snide remarks that claim she is promiscuous and has a drinking problem.

“As a grown woman I never thought I would be in a situation like this,” she told Action 16 and claimed her ex-husband bragged about posting the pictures after she divorced him.

“He said it would help me with my job search if they had images to go along with my resume,” she said.

The woman is not alone.

We can`t show you the explicit photos from the website, that the advocacy group “The Cyber Rights Initiative” describes as the most visited site of its kind.

That website lists 98 victims from Pennsylvania by name, age, and community, 29 are from our region.

It`s a site viewed so often that the woman who talked with us about her struggle has had her picture seen more than 7,000 times.

“Unbelievable damage, is the best way to put it,” she said.

She has a unique last name.

We put her name through the “Google” search engine, and a link to the web page that has the nude pictures came up.

The single mother was laid off just before the pictures went up.

“Can you imaging the implications for a victim who is trying to apply for a job, and her potential employer gets an eyeful?,” asks Ellen Kramer of the Pennsylvania Coalition Against Domestic Violence.

Kramer said the problem, also known as “cyber-revenge,” is used solely to smear and intimidate women.

California and New Jersey so far are the only states to ban this form of revenge.  In Pennsylvania, the legislature has not yet debated the issue, some State Senators are drafting a bill to criminalize revenge porn. Locally, Senators John Yudichak of Luzerne County and John Blake of Lackawanna County signed on as co-sponsors.

“Just having a law there sends a clear signal that this is not ok,” added Kramer.

This single mother who talked with us feels like she’s in a bind.

The site offers to take down the pictures for $499.

But since the website is hosted in Hong Kong, she has no assurances that the pictures will come down, and she fears her ex who still has the pictures, will find a similar site to post them.

“To be that cold-hearted and hurtful, that`s just emotional terrorism,” she said.

She asked her local police department to charge her ex with harassment, and approached a lawyer about filing suit.

However, until Pennsylvania lawmakers make this form of revenge illegal, she fears her attempts at justice are an uphill fight.

8 comments

Comments are closed.

Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 37,488 other followers