Revenge Law in Virginia

Both a partner’s and ex’s worse fear. A wide-spread, modern problem that can humiliate both teens and adults. “Revenge Porn”, the term, first appeared around 2010, when the controversial website “Is Anyone Up?” launched, allowing users to upload sexually explicit images of former romantic partners.

Revenge Porn, as it is known today, while disgusting and reprehensible, is not new under the proverbial sun. History and literature are littered with stories us jilted lovers afflicted with ideas of retaliation.

However, in the modern era of the internet, illicit pictures and videos posted online to social media sites or internet sites become a permanent fixture, impossible to erase, impossible to delete, and leaves the victim feeling powerless, embarrassed, and sadly, has been known to be the reason for suicide.

Currently, 38 states have laws against nonconsensual porn, but the laws are lacking in uniformity and unambiguity. Virginia has passed laws against revenge porn, making it a crime, and recognizing that existing laws against copyright infringement, intentional infliction of emotional distress, and bullying were not offering victims sufficient protection. Of course, civil remedies also exist.

Under Virginia Code § 8.01-40.4, victims can sue for compensatory and punitive damages, as well as attorney’s fees. Because Virginia specifically has laws prohibiting the “unlawful dissemination or sale of images of another” with the intent to “coerce, harass, or intimidate”, victims have a built-in code upon which they can take legal action. Take Down requests, as well as registration of one’s own image is to be considered. What also must be considered are using services from online reputation management services which can manipulate and avalanche searches on identifying information through search engine optimization and the crafting of meta descriptions and title tags to drown out the bad stuff and replace it with new content.

Matters such as these can be embarrassing and distressing. The Stanley Law Group can advise you on how to move forward, and how best to protect yourself. If you need the advice of a qualified attorney, give us a call at (540) 721-6028.

Disclaimer: The article above is not intended as legal advice. We recommend you come to our offices for a proper legal consultation with our excellent attorneys to formulate a strategy which is suitable for your specific case.

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