End Revenge Porn is a campaign organized by the Cyber Civil Rights Initiative to provide support and advocacy for victims of revenge porn, or people whose intimate photographs and/or videos have been disseminated on the Internet without their consent.
Dr. Holly Jacobs was a victim of revenge porn for three and a half years. During those years, the police and FBI continuously refused to file criminal charges against her ex on the grounds that there were technically no laws against what he was doing. After her ex’s targeted behavior forced her to change jobs, go through several email addresses, legally change her name, deactivate all of her social media accounts, cancel her attendance to professional meetings, and restrict her from publishing in her field, she decided that there needed to be laws against it.
In August 2012, Dr. Jacobs started EndRevengePorn.org as a website to host a petition collecting signatures in favor of criminalizing revenge porn in the United States. The site also contained a survey that collected data regarding the prevalence of revenge porn and the effects that it had on its victims. These statistics were shared with legislators and the public to show just how much damage revenge porn could cause in one’s life and, thus, why there is a need to criminalize it.
“Because the people who are crazy enough to think they can change the world,
are the ones who do.” -Steve Jobs
Over the past year, End Revenge Porn has turned into a national campaign that has attracted worldwide attention. It has expanded into a place of refuge where victims can obtain support, advice, and referrals to professionals (i.e., attorneys, a take down service) volunteering to help them. It has become the main source through which legislators, attorneys, and the press can be put in touch with key players in this movement and acquire more information regarding the issue and the laws relevant to it.
We are helping victims. We are changing laws. And we are educating the public and changing the collective opinion that society holds about revenge porn. This is only the beginning.
Revenge pornography (also known as non-consensual pornography or cyber rape) is socially and emotionally damaging to its victims and, in cases where victims’ personal information is attached to the offending material, can be physically threatening. Worst of all, the perpetrators distributing this material have the luxury of masking themselves behind a computer screen and are, in essence, protected by the lack of laws in place to combat this sort of activity.
In relationships, there exists an unwritten privacy contract according to which individuals expect that involved parties will keep intimate exchanges (special moments, personality quirks, secrets, etc.) within the confines of that relationship. While relationships may not always last, we support the preservation of this contract and privacy.
End Revenge Porn is working to educate the masses about what revenge porn is, why it is happening, how perpetrators are able to get away with it, and why the blame should not be directed at the victims.
“Stand before the people you fear and speak your mind — even if your voice shakes.” –Maggie Kuhn
Victims, family and friends of victims, and advocates of victims need to speak up about their experiences with revenge porn, even if done anonymously so. The world will not recognize the true nature and vastness of this issue until its victims and those closest to them begin to speak up and provide evidence of its occurrence. Until we engage in a worldwide conversation about revenge porn and how to put an end to it, it will continue to thrive on the Internet and torment every aspect of the lives of victims that fall into its wake.
Please visit the rest of our site to see how you can become involved in and support our cause.