Revenge porn is a relatively new form of abuse, dating back to as far as the smartphone and invention of social media. It involves posting intimate pictures or videos of someone else with the aim of humiliating them. Typically, revenge porn is carried out as a result of a bad breakup or wrongdoing. Because of how new it is, it took some time for laws to come into place, making it illegal.
New Jersey was the first state to pass legislation on non-consensual porn – also known as revenge porn. It passed its law back in 2014, with 33 other states following suit. Now, revenge porn encompasses all forms of visual material. If you post intimate media – be it a photo or a video without the other person’s consent, you are breaking the law. However, there is still no federal law.
If you’ve ever been the victim of revenge porn, or you’re hurt and angry and intend on being the guilty party, here is the damage you’ll be doing. We cover how revenge porn is ruining lives below.
Revenge porn occurs commonly amongst teenagers, where bad breakups and intimate photos lead to poor decision making. One of the many results of releasing intimate images and videos into public forums is the fall-out in social circles. Not only does the person publishing the media receive plenty of harassment for doing so, but the person in the footage does as well.
Friends of the victim may begin to attack the person who did it – who may already be feeling anger and hurt from previous wrongdoing. What’s more, those same friends may also express judgment to the person in the footage. Why did they get naked in front of a camera? Do they have no self-respect? The damage in a social circle can cause the end of long-term friendships.
What happens when your profoundly religious but social media savvy grandmother sees nude pictures of you all over her Facebook newsfeed? Or, what if she stumbles across you taking part in an intimate act when you’re only a teen? The fallout within families can be astronomical, all because someone felt you deserved to be punished. Revenge porn ruins more than just friendships and chances of reconciliation with your former lover, but it can destroy family connections as well.
If you’re applying for a job you’ve been working so hard to get, revenge porn can put a stop to your chances. All it takes is for one of the interviewers to recognize you from the footage they saw online, and they immediately change their perception. You’re no longer a qualified professional; you’re a loose man or woman who’s willing to take their clothes off for the world to see. A company with a reputation of its own to uphold will not hire someone who can jeopardize it.
While the toll on those around you can be high, your self-esteem can take a battering as well. When intimate footage or videos of you are posted online for the world to see, they’re also open for the world to talk about as well. And, it’s hard not to read the cruel things people can say. Even if you’re a beautiful person inside and out, you now feel like the ugliest person in the world, all because people decide it’s how you should be treated.
There are around 2,000 active revenge porn websites, with potentially more being added to this number by the day. This, coupled with the growing digital age, equates to vulnerable young people who are more at risk of scrutiny than ever before. Out of 1,606 respondents of a 2015 survey on revenge porn, 61 percent said they had taken videos and photos of themselves nude, sharing them with someone close to them. Over 20 percent of those same respondents had also been a victim of revenge porn. As a result of the pain and suffering, over half of them then said they considered committing suicide.
Revenge porn has a significant impact on the lives of the victims. Reputations are at stake, families and social circles can suffer, and victims can even contemplate or do end their lives. If you ever thought for a minute that you’d like to get revenge on someone by using their images and videos against them, think again. Nothing is worth driving someone to their absolute limit in life.