Letter to Senator Brian Frosh

Senator Frosh,

 
It has come to my attention that the fate of House Bill 43, Del Simmons’ Revenge Porn bill, is in your hands.
 
As a survivor of this heinous behavior and advocate for victims nationwide, I offer the following statistics for your consideration:
 
90% of victims of Revenge Porn are women.
 
59% of victims of Revenge Porn have had their full names posted alongside their images. 
 
49% of victims of Revenge Porn have had their social networking information posted alongside their images. 
 
49% of victims of Revenge Porn have been harassed or stalked offline by men who saw their images online. 
 
93% of victims of Revenge Porn reported suffering significant emotional distress, many reporting suicidal thoughts and attempts. 
 
I attempted suicide as a result of my own victimization. 
 
Within the current legislative session:
 
18 states + Puerto Rico have Revenge Porn legislation that has passed a committee or is awaiting a governor’s signature;
4 states have signed bills into law; and 
 
4 countries have made Revenge Porn a crime. 
 
This is not an issue that can be ignored, Senator. 
 
If you are concerned about First Amendment violations, I offer a few facts to put your concerns to rest:
1) “Carefully crafted criminal statutes prohibiting malicious, harmful conduct such as stalking, harassment, and threats have not been held to violate First Amendment principles.”2
2) “The non-consensual disclosure of sexually graphic images is a matter of purely private concern which the Supreme Court has held does not warrant the robust protection afforded to expression of matters of public concern.”3
3) “Sexually intimate images of individuals disclosed without consent belongs to the category of ‘obscenity,’ which the Supreme Court has determined does not receive First Amendment protection.”4
All eyes are on Maryland, Senator Frosh. Prove your commitment to the people of the state you represent. Vote House Bill 43 out of committee and onto the governor’s desk.
Unrelenting,
~Annmarie J. Chiarini
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
www.annmariechiarini.com

@annmarichiarini

https://www.facebook.com/pages/AnnmarieChiarini/133132460113259

 

[2] Franks, M.A. (2013). Combating Non-Consensual Pornography: A Working Paper. Available at http://www.endrevengeporn.org/impact-legislation-in-your-state.html

[3] Ibid.

[4] Ibid. Noted First Amendment scholar Eugene Volokh has written that “a suitably clear and narrow statute banning nonconsensual posting of nude pictures of another, in a context where there’s good reason to think that the subject did not consent to publication of such pictures, would likely be upheld by the courts … [C]ourts can rightly conclude that as a categorical matter such nude pictures indeed lack First Amendment value.” The Volokh Conspiracy, http://www.volokh.com/2013/04/10/florida-revenge-porn-bill/.

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