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Revenge Porn Self Defence

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Revenge porn or revenge porn (The Anglo-Saxon term has been translated into Italian by the Accademia della Crusca with the word porn-revenge) consists in the dissemination or publication of videos shot with the mobile phone, which resume the partner in intimate attitudes or in some cases during the sexual act.

The content is spread across a wide range of online channels (Social, Messaging Apps, etc.) and offline (Sending images and videos to people you know).

Theorists speak of “porn sales “.

In fact, it is the dissemination – without the consent of the victim – of photographs or videos that represent it without veils or in any case in erotic poses.

Revenge because – in most cases – revenge porn concerns the publication, by ex-boyfriends, of such material on the victim’s social media, on WhatsApp groups,or, in the most serious cases, on websites reachable from the whole world of the network.

It is clear, the intent is usually to damage the victim’s reputation.

Most of the time, in fact, the recipients of the hot material are friends, relatives, colleagues of the latter but also wives and girlfriends.

The new means allow very quickly a quick and simple sharing that allows a propagation of this material both online to strangers but also reaches the people who are part of the victim’s private life such as family, friends, work colleagues, boss, etc.)

The goal is to discredit the victim and ruin his social and online reputation.

This is one of the objectives most related to psychological problems that use the blackmail of images and videos to threaten, insult with the aim of recovering the relationship and to which an immediate response must be given to prevent the situation from degenerating and sometimes even to murder.

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Revenge porn and crime

In some cases more crime-related videos and images are used to blackmail and extort money.

Usually people are chosen because they are married and in good positions and once they acquire the material in order to carry out blackmail they begin to extort gifts, money, etc. from the victim to avoid let the wife or husband know about the betrayal with irrefutable evidence.

It is not so difficult to damage and disrupt a person’s life when falling into the trap of criminals who aim to blackmail the victim by using sex as a form of blackmail, in this case blackmail can be to tell the spouse but also to spread the images as in the case of revenge porn.

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Revenge porn is simple

Today thanks to the simplicity of using smartphones it is very easy to take photos and videos during your intimacy or exchange nude photos through chats when the relationship between the couple works well but what can happen next if you have met a fool, or you have left without a deal but angrily, etc.

This phenomenon usually occurs when a relationship between two people breaks down and the other party does not accept that it is over.

Very often those who have this type of material and spread it do not understand the enormous risks related to dissemination and the same thing the person who sent images or videos during private sexual acts does not think about the potential consequences if they remain in the hands of a person you do not know well or trusted wrongly.

Posting a video or image online without the consent of the person portrayed constitutes an offence that takes on different relevance and severity depending on the context in which it takes place.

If a person agrees to have an authorization also taken in a non-implicit video for the dissemination or dissemination of that image or video,the person portrayed must issue an express authorization for that purpose.

In the age of social media, you know, privacy is continually undermined by the eagerness to share everything that happens throughout the day.

But what if it is photos that were destined to remain confidential to be published?

Well, on July 19, 2019 something changed, an article was added to the penal code, which incriminates the illicit dissemination of photos or videos with sexually explicit content, without the consent of the person represented.

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How revenge porn crime is set up

Revenge Porn is the subject of pornographic material in which the victim is present and is filmed in intimate, private, alone or with a partner (stable and occasional).

The attacker can get hold of compromising material through:

  • Sexting: that is, a series of images or poses in which it is the same victim who takes them back and sends them to third parties, via webcam or smartphone via chat or email;
  • Shooting during moments of intimacy: for example while the victim is in changing rooms and public bathrooms, then places where attackers can install spy-cams;
  • Filming during sexual intercourse: where the victim is consenting or even non-consenting using hidden chambers;
  • Hacking of the systems used by thevictim: email, cloud, smartphone, tablet, social,etc… this is also a growing phenomenon.

According to statistics, most sexual blackmail is committed mainly by people who have an emotional connection to the victim.

The people who commit the crime of revenge porn are problematic people who do not accept the end of the relationship by taking revenge through the attempt to harm the dignity of the ex until it completely destroys his reputation.

The effects of Cyber bullying are devastating and destroy people’s lives and in some news cases have also led to suicide.

Cyber bullying on the person can have self-destructive effects that lead to different reactions depending on the subject such as:

  • Alcohol and drug abuse,
  • Eating disorders,
  • Absence from school or work,
  • Stop using social media or delete,
  • Self-harm,
  • Depression
  • Suicidal thoughts,
  • Social anxiety,
  • et cetera.

The end result of certain acts is that the lives of the victims are turned upside down to the point where they no longer leave home, change cities or even commit suicide when cyber bullies are not aware of the life of a human being.

The sites where cyber bullying is most prevalent are instagram and facebook but there is also whatsapp and telegram.

It is important to have these images removed as soon as possible but the procedures are often slow and so specialized companies have been born even if today the attention of the companies that provide the chat and social service are more sensitive on issues of this type.

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What are the consequences in case of the dissemination of images/videos without authorization?

In the absence of permission to disclose images or videos, there are two violations:

  • the first concerns the so-called right to Privacy, that is, the right to confidentiality protected by both the Italian and European legal systems is protected, and finds its own discipline in gdpr regulation no. 2016/679,
  • the second takes on relevance in the criminal field, since depending on the modus operandi various types of crime can take place: defamation, private violence, stalking, extortion, possession and dissemination of pornographic pedo material, etc…

The phenomenon is rising sharply, belongs to a retrograde and ignorant mentality, the victims are in most cases mostly adolescent women, it also causes the gender bias that “punishes” the sexual freedom of the woman.

Revenge porn: what it is, how it works and what the legislation is in Italy and the EU

With the new law so-called “Code Red” Parliament faces the crime of Revenge Porn: this is what it is, how it works and what is the legislation in Italy and the EU.

When it comes to Revenge Porn in Italy, there is a watershed date:17 July 2019, when Parliament passed a Law composed of 21 articles, called in code red jargon.

Objective: to protect victims of violence, especially women and children.

With regard to blackmail porn, the Code now provides for two different types of crime:

“All those who have made or received videos or images that contain sexually explicit content, intended for exclusively private viewing, and spread them without the consent of the person present in them, commit a criminal offence.”

sopra-la-legge-1 Revenge Porn Self DefenceThe law and Revenge Porn in Italy in detail

On April 2, 2019, the Chamber of Deputies introduced art. 612– ter onthe theme of Revenge Porn, an article that was missing and that fills an important void to counter an increasingly growing illegal phenomenon.

What does this paragraph say:

  • 1: Anyone who steals and spreads sexual material without the consent of the person represented is punished
  • 2: Those who voluntarily received the material and then disseminated it without consent are punished.
  • 3: Tightens up the sentence in the event that the spouse or former spouse commits the crime.
  • 4: increases the penalty in the case of victims of mental or physical inferiority or pregnant women.
  • 5: follows Art. 612-bis, bringing the deadline for the filing of a lawsuit up to six months, which is made revocable only during the trial and implementing the procedure of its own motion in the cases of Paragraph 4 or in the presence of a crime.

At the basis of the creation of this article is the desire to protect the freedom of self-determination of theindividual, thus including:

  • the defense of honor,
  • privacy,
  • of decorum,
  • reputation and
  • of the sexual honor of individuals.

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The Red Code

On July 17, 2019, therefore, the famous
Code red was approved,
which regulates the following crimes:

  • Art. 612-ter c.p.: criminally punishes the dissemination of intimate images, which before legislative approval were considered only a crime of defamation. The penalty also extends to already finished romantic relationships. The crime is punishable by a prison sentence of 1 to 6 years and a fine of 5 to 15 thousand euros.
  • Art. 583 quinques c.p: concerns the deformation of the physical appearance of the person through permanent lesions on the face. The sentence ranges from a minimum of 4 to a maximum of 8 years in prison: life imprisonment takes place in the event of the death of the victim.
  • Art. 558-bis c.p.: concerns induction or compulsity to enter into marriage. The sentence is 5 years in prison that becomes 6 if the victim is underage.
  • Art. 387-bis c.p.: regulates the violation of the measures on removal from the family home and the prohibition of approaching the places of attendance of the victim. The sentence is up to 7 years in prison.

With the exceptionof Article 387a-bis of the European Treaty, which fills what has hitherto been a regulatory vacuum, the other articles relate mainly to the tightening up of existing penalties.

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What are you risking?

The penalties are severe: there is a risk of imprisonment from 1 to 6 years, with afine of between 5,000 and 15,000 euros (low in my opinion).

In addition, there are increases in penalty if it was spouses, even separated or divorced, or in any case people emotionally linked to the offended person, who committed the revenge porn.

Increases in sentences may also apply if the crime is committed to the detriment of pregnant women or persons with physical or mental inferiority.

 

Who commits the crime of revenge porn is always the subject who made the video?

Attention thatart. 612 ter c.p. requires, for the purposes of the configurability of the crime, that the agent is the one who, after having made or subtracted them, spreads, without the consent of the person represented, images or videos with sexually explicit content.

When it is the person who took or subtracted the photo himself who commits the crime and who, after a short time, decides to disseminate it, the norm considers that proof of vengeful intent is unnecessary.

But the dissemination of images of others with sexually explicit content is not always determined by the desire for revenge.

Think, for example, of the case of the finding on the net of a hot photo of an unknown girl, the saving of that photo and sending it to third parties on WhatsApp.

The rule equates, for the purposes of sanctioning treatment, the conduct of those who participated in the realization and then disclosed the hot material to that of those who simply received or acquired it in other ways.

However, in the latter case, it is explicitly requested that the purpose of the dissemination should have been to damageintento vendicativothe image and reputation of the victim.

So when you spread via whatsapp amateur videos of a girl be careful, you are committing a crime.

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What can be done to denounce the facts?

  • Immediately collect evidence of what happened, even through simple screenshots.
  • Sname the photo or movie, wherethey are on a social network to have them removed
  • If the crime takes place now there is a law so you must report the presence of material stating that no authorization has been issued for the disclosure of such material asking for the immediate removal of the same.
  • Contact the competent authorities and report the incident providing all the information useful for the investigation without any fear, you must immediately file a complaint at a police station.

WARNING:The right to file a lawsuit for such facts is up to 6 months from the moment you become aware of the dissemination of the hard photo or video.

  • Stay calm or calm because it’s something that can be solved.

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Financial compensation in Revenge Porn

The offended person is advisable to form a civil party in the criminal proceedings that may have begun against the perpetrator of the conduct, in order to be able, in the event of conviction, to obtain compensation for the damages suffered.

In fact, the Supreme Court,on several occasions, has recognized compensation for non-property damage suffered by victims of non-consensual pornography.

This is a real damage to image and reputation, goods guaranteed by our Constitution.

The damage is quantified based on the number of users who viewed the material and, more generally, based on the overall severity of the fact.

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The legislation governing Revenge Porn in the EU

In Italy, cases of revenge porn have multiplied so much that it has become necessary to adopt a law on the subject.

Also in other countries but in particular in the United States, where evidently found spread in advance of our country, 45 states have adopted legislation to combat the phenomenon of revenge porn.

Some European countries have long faced what was in fact a regulatory vacuum.

  • The UK legislated as early as 2015, setting penalties of up to 2 years in prison: according to the government financial service Revenge Porn Helpline,over 18 thousand images were published in four years and 80% were removed.
  • France adopted a law on the subject in 2016, with a legal amendment – then joint inArticle 226-2-1 of the Civil Service – that combats cyberbullying: the penalty for those who spread intimate material is 2 years of detention and fines of up to 60 thousand euros.
  • In Germany, the law has been in force since 2017 and provides for exclusively civil sanctions, acting through a repressive copyright law: it should be emphasized that many judgments have severely punished offenders.

What should appear in the photo or video?

Just a sexy photo, without veils or in underwear to trigger the crime.

But when is a photo deemed” sexually explicit content“?

Article 10 of the Directive is applicable to the 612 ter c.p. does not clarify what should be meant by sexually explicit content.

This elasticity could create interpretative doubts, since, in the opinion of many, even a banal costumed photograph can be of considerable erotic charge.

It will therefore be necessary to assess the peculiarity of the specific case.

example:

A recent ruling by the Ravenna Court led to the conviction of a 24-year-old man for sending friends, in a WhatsApp group,a photograph of his ex-girlfriend portrayed from behind during sexual intercourse.

The judges convicted him, claimed that a tattoo would make the victim recognizable in the eyes of the other members of the group.

The most problematic aspect of the matter concerns the consent of the victim because the crime is the lack of consent to the dissemination of the material by the person portrayed in the photo or video but it is clear that the consent to be photographed or filmed was there.

The fact and crime to exist and be criminally relevant, must have as its object photos or videos that had to “remain private”, quoting the rule.

Conclusions

The first rule is to avoid sending compromising images and videos and if you only have to do it with your phone and then delete them

“Don’t worry, no one will see it! IT’S NOT a certainty”

As you see since 2019, those who spread without consent of the person represented, photos or videos with sexually explicit content commit the crime of revenge porn

Now you know that if a revenge ex-boyfriend spreads your images, he’s committing a crime.

On the web the data spreads very quickly and even if you can delete it from Google or from social platforms and messenger apps by applying the The right to Be Forgotten is a complicated and long operation, and even if there is now a law and you can protect you by asking for the removal of the damaged material and damages the time is long and the photos and videos have been around the world.

Unfortunately, if you really want to remove revenge porn content from the network quickly and permanently, it can’t afford to wait for the very long time of the “bureaucracy” of social media and messaging apps.

Stay Tuned!

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Written by Andrea

Instructor and enthusiast of Martial Arts and Fight Sport.

- Boxing / Muay Thai / Brazilian Jiu Jitsu / Grappling / CSW / MMA.
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