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Revenge porn destroys lives

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Revenge porn, also known as non-consensual pornography, is the sharing of private, sexual material of another person without their consent. Anyone can be the victim of revenge porn, but most recently Rep. Katie Hill, D-Cal., resigned after private, explicit photos of her were leaked, according to the Associated Press.

Along with the photographs of Hill, allegations of her having an inappropriate affair with a staffer were also made, according to the Associated Press. This sparked an investigation on Hill by the House Ethics Committee on Oct. 23. Hill, who identifies as bisexual, denied having an affair with her legislative director, but confirmed having a separate affair with a female campaign staffer.

While the House Ethics Committee launched an investigation, Hill resigned before the investigation concluded, according to the Associated Press.

What happened to Hill calls into question the double standard that exists between men and women. Hill was reprimanded and forced to resign for having a consensual relationship, while the president can sit in office, free of accountability for what he has done to women. Most recently, E. Jean Carrol accused President Donald Trump of assaulting her two decades ago, which is only one of the many allegations made against Trump. Justice Brett Kavanaugh was appointed to the Supreme Court despite Christine Blasey Ford’s testimony. 

Why is it that when men are accused of sexual assault, they continue to be let off without accountability or punishment, yet when a woman is a victim of revenge porn she is forced out of office?

While most states have laws banning revenge porn, they are not consistent. Four states have yet to pass any laws regarding revenge porn: Wyoming, Mississippi, South Carolina and Massachusetts. This country needs to do everything in its power to stop it from happening.

Revenge porn emotionally damages the victim in many ways, including an onset of anger, guilt, depression, feelings of isolation that can lead the victim to suicide, and can hurt the careers of those targeted, according to the The Journal of American Academy of Psychiatry and Law.

Hill revealed in her farewell speech to Congress on Oct. 31 that she has felt these effects.

Revenge porn, the blatant double standard of sex and the demonization of a woman’s sexuality needs to end.

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