Essential Pittsburgh
5:01 pm
Fri February 14, 2014

Does Legislation Combating Revenge Porn Go Far Enough?

The organization, End Revenge Porn, has talked to thousands of victims of Revenge Porn and that is just scratching the surface according to founder Holly Jacobs.
Credit lizzardo / Flickr

A bill to punish revenge porn has been passed by the Pennsylvania Senate. How big a problem is this issue and could the Commonwealth’s bill be a model for other states to follow?

City Paper reporter Charlie Deitch, investigated the topic for this week's cover story. He spoke with Holly Jacobs for the article. She's a revenge porn victim and founder of the organization End Revenge Porn.

The new legislation gives victims retribution for the initial posting of graphic imagery, but Deitch says this legislation is not enough.

“Not only on these sites are they putting photos and videos, they also will put links to your Facebook page, links to your twitter page, your personal information, phone numbers, email addresses, any number of things. I mean I’ve heard stories about people’s addresses to victims’ homes have been placed on these sites. But the bill in Pennsylvania only refers to the explicit images, and not the ancillary conduct be it the Facebook page, the twitter and kind of just rude and crude comments as well.”

Jacobs shares her story of how she became a victim. “It was a month after I had broken up with a boyfriend that I had dated for a few years actually at long distance, and that's when we had shared intimate photos back and forth. And a month after we broke up he changed my Facebook profile to a nude photo of me."

Because of all of the information released with the posting, Jacobs says she had to leave her job.

“Eventually I had to change my name...It completely wreaks havoc on every aspect of your life. You can imagine how psychologically damaging it can be to see photos of you in your most intimate moments up for the world to see. And then, like I was describing, it can affect your professional life and your personal life too.”