Ohio woman working to make revenge porn a crime

Politics
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YOUNGSTOWN, Ohio (WKBN/WCMH) – Katelyn Bowden never dreamed her private photos could end up online.

“I got an email that said I was on a website called Anon IB,” Bowden said. “I go on there and it is photos I had taken for an ex.”

That started an ongoing nightmare – first dealing with the invasion of privacy, which led to the legal battle to get the pictures removed.

“You are shamed into silence,” Bowden said. “If you tell people, you are just drawing more attention to the photos and having people judge you.”

That’s when Bowden decided to launch a new group – Babes Against Demeaning and Abusive Selfie Sharing. She wants to see revenge porn become a crime in Ohio. More than half of all states have laws directly applicable to revenge porn, but Ohio does not.

Critics of the organization say young women shouldn’t be taking explicit images anyway.

Advocates believe that’s the wrong approach, saying enforcement efforts should instead focus on the people sharing the images without permission

Kate Venable is a lawyer working with the group.

“From a legal aspect, it’s really hard because there is not a whole lot of legal protection out there for revenge porn,” Venable said. “So we have to be creative in ways we can try and actually find these people and prosecute them.”

Bowden says women of all ages are victimized by real – and simulated – revenge porn.

“It happens to everybody,” she said. “Within our group we have victims ranging in age from 15 to 55. And they have all had to deal with the shame involved with this.”

She says she wants to see an end to victims and the shame they carry with them.

Check out Babes Against Demeaning and Abusive Selfie Sharing here.

Copyright 2019 Nexstar Broadcasting, Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

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