310-299-2040

What Is Revenge Porn: Understanding the Effects of Image Based Sexual Abuse – With Kaitlyn Cannon (Episode 11)

Dec 6, 2021

 

One of the most disgusting trends that came with the rise of the internet, and especially social media, is revenge porn.

If you find yourself a victim of revenge porn, you’re far from alone. Believe it or not, 15% of people polled said they have been victims of this abuse.

So, what is revenge porn and why is it so common? Here is what you need to know.

What Is Revenge Porn

Nonconsensual pornography, when a person decides to share images they have of somebody on the internet without their consent, is more commonly known as revenge porn.

This is common after rough breakups, where somebody has sexually explicit images leftover and decides to get revenge by uploading them to the internet, whether on social media or a pornography site.

There are even sites specifically and openly dedicated to nonconsensual porn shared by random users anonymously.

The problem with the term, however, is that it doesn’t capture the experience of the victim, as it can cause serious reputational damage and emotional distress. It isn’t as much porn as it is abuse, which is why many are calling it image-based sexual abuse.

Victims of revenge porn had little power in removing their images or video or other identifying information from the internet, as they didn’t hold the accounts responsible for uploading it, and the laws hadn’t caught up.

Laws Against Revenge Porn

In many states, all forms of revenge porn are illegal. However, it is illegal everywhere to upload or possess a sexual image of anybody under the age of 18. Regardless of the circumstances, this is child pornography.

This line can be blurry for some, so let’s make it clear. In many states, a 19-year-old and a 17-year-old can have a sexual relationship without breaking any laws, as long as the age of consent is 16. However, obtaining a sexually explicit photo of the 17-year-old is illegal in every state.

This is regardless of how you came to possess the photo or video. If it was sent to you, do not keep it and certainly don’t upload it anywhere. Possession can lead to 10 years in prison, and 20 if the minor is under 12.

If the victim of the image abuse is over 18, this is still punishable by up to 5 years in prison and a $10,000 fine.

What Can You Do?

If you’re a victim of image-based abuse, or if you know a victim, contact law enforcement immediately. You can also reach out directly to the publisher site and explain the circumstances, and they will almost certainly remove it.

The next step is to contact the appropriate law firm to press charges against anybody involved. Learn more about what you need to do if you’ve been a victim of revenge porn.

Where To Go From Here

Whether you’re healing from a toxic relationship or somebody hacked your webcam, nonconsensual porn is illegal and wrong and should be taken care of immediately.

Don’t blame yourself if you’re in this position. You were a victim of abuse. Learn more about how to spot abuse so you can protect yourself and your loved ones from harm.

 

In this episode, Dr. Kate Balestrieri speaks with Kaitlyn Connor, @revengeporngirl about her experience with image based sexual abuse (revenge porn), and how it affected her.

Kaitlyn Cannon (she/her) is currently a Masters of Social Work student at the University of North Carolina at Charlotte. She is the Vice President at March Against Revenge Porn, an organization dedicated to advocacy around image based sexual abuse. After being victimized by revenge porn on two separate occasions, she decided this trauma happened to her for a reason, and that reason was to fight back. She is a future therapist and current mental health advocate. She has always made volunteering a priority, and has volunteered with Crisis Text Line, where she served as a Crisis Counselor. In her advocacy to fight revenge porn, Kaitlyn was recently featured in The Washington Post. She hopes using her voice will let other victims know that they’re not alone.

IG: @marchagainstrevengeprn @kaitybop_

TT: @marchagainstrevengeprn @revengeprngirl

 

Embed Code:

This is the cover for the Modern Intimacy with Dr. Kate Balestrieri podcast.
Dr. Kate Balestrieri, host of Modern Intimacy, a licensed psychologist and certified sex therapist, helps people live more fulfilled lives by shattering stigma and erasing shame. Dr. Kate invites you to join her as she investigates the relationship between sex, mental health, relationships and modern society.

SUBSCRIBE

Contact Modern Intimacy For Podcast Topics and Ideas

Have a question, idea, story or guest request for a podcast episode? Tell us about it here!

Submitting a question, idea or story is not a substitute for therapy, and does not constitute a therapeutic or professional relationship with Dr. Balestrieri or any of the clinicians at Modern Intimacy.

This submission is not confidential, as a member of the Modern Intimacy production team may read your submission, before it gets to Dr. Kate. Let us know if you’d like us to disguise your name on air.  

15 + 9 =