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Leah Juliett is Taking A Stand Against Revenge Porn

What is revenge porn? It’s “non-consensual pornography [that] is distributed online to shame, exploit or extort its victims.” Basically, it’s sharing other’s nude photos online for your own selfish reasons.  It’s an epidemic that ruins lives; however, it is often overlooked by the general populous as well as the government. But that’s all about to change.

Leah Juliett in Washington D.C in 2016. via leahjuliett.com

Meet 20 year old Leah Juliett who was 15 when in 2012, when her nude photos were posted on an “obscure” website. She sent 4 revealing photos to a male classmate who was unsatisfied with the photos as he wanted ones that “clearly showed her genitals.” Juliett declined to send more photos. As a form of revenge, her classmate uploaded the photos online without informing her.

She found out a couple months later when her lab partner pulled out his phone and showed her her nude photos; the same ones she sent to her male classmate months before. Her lab partner then proceeded to tell her that “every guy on the football team [had] them,” Juliett recalled in an interview with CNN.

Juliett described the experience as a lonely one saying that she felt like the “only person who [had] ever been through it.” With the feeling of shame Juliett kept the pictures a secret from everyone. 4 years later, in 2016, she finally told her story to her parents and even performed a poem about revenge porn. “I was able to tell my story before it got told for me,” she told CNN.

“Every guy on the football team [had] them.”

Now, as a sophomore in college, Juliet is ready to tell the whole world her story, while advocating for change. Currently there is no federal law dealing with the revenge porn epidemic; however, 35 states and Washington D.C have laws that partially address the issue. Each of these laws deals with online-harassment, but are “notoriously weak and rarely match the damage revenge porn creates.” 

Some politicians have made an effort to to stop the revenge porn epidemic at the federal level including California Representative, Jackie Speier, who introduced the Intimate Privacy Protection Act. The act would make posting someone else’s nude photos online without their consent a criminal offense. Hillary Clinton expressed her support for this bill on her presidential campaign.

In an aim to bring further light to the epidemic, Juliett is planning a March Against Revenge Porn to be held in N.Y.C on April 1. The March’s goal is to “[create] a community for victims and allies, develop a platform for the voice of revenge porn victims, fight to criminalize revenge pornography at a national level, and educate young people about their cyber civil rights.”

Juliett wants to get people talking about revenge porn. Just asking “what is it?” is a step in the right direction, she told CNN.

The March’s goal is to “[create] a community for victims and allies, develop a platform for the voice of revenge porn victims, fight to criminalize revenge pornography at a national level, and educate young people about their cyber civil rights.”

Join Juliett in marching on April 1. For more details and how to donate visit http://marchagainstrevengeporn.org/

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Erika Liberati
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Erika is an aspiring journalist and senior in high school who is passionate about music and equality. twitter: @liberatierika insta: @erika.liberati

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