Israel Makes Revenge Porn a Sex Crime

Jan 6, 2014 12:15 PM PST

JERUSALEM — Israeli lawmakers approved a new law drafted by MK Yifat Kariv that makes revenge porn a sex crime punishable by up to five years in prison, Times of Israel reported today.  

The law, which targets sexually explicit media posted without the depicted person’s knowledge or consent, also covers content shared on social media.

It stipulates that those found guilty of posting such content will be prosecuted as sexual offenders, and that those who are targeted will be recognized as “victims of sexual assault.”

According to reports, Kariv drafted the bill last year after a man shared a video of himself having sex with his ex-girlfriend on the mobile messaging application WhatsApp following their break up. The clip drew tens of thousands of viewers

“These days, we are witnessing more and more cases of sexual assault that are fecklessly documented and shared with the public,” Kariv said. “This legislative intervention is crucial and will help combat the shocking phenomenon of ‘virtual rape.’ This is a great accomplishment for victims of sexual crimes.”

She added that revenge porn poses a serious danger to young women especially, who are often left traumatized and humiliated following the incident.

“I’m glad that the Knesset thinks so as well,” Kariv said. The Knesset is the legislative branch of the Israeli government, which passed the law earlier today.  

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