Texas joins the growing number of states to criminalize revenge porn. Effective today, Texas’s new law makes revenge porn a misdemeanor, punishable by up to a year in jail and a $4,000 fine.

What is revenge porn?

It’s the disclosure of nude or sexually explicit images of another without that person’s consent or knowledge. Typically, we see it when a relationship breaks up and, to get revenge or in spite, one partner posts on Facebook or other sites, intimate, naked photos of the other (taken when the relationship was on better terms). Obviously, this has serious emotional consequences for victims. As a result of this abuse by ex-lovers (and sometimes hackers), victims are humiliated in front of friends, colleagues, family. Images that go viral have caused some to lose their jobs, be stalked; some have even committed suicide.

Legislatures around the country are taking note that civil lawsuits for monetary damages alleging invasion of privacy and other tortious conduct are not enough punishment for these malicious acts. Today, at least 24 states and the District of Columbia have criminal statutes, some make revenge porn a felony.

Check out this link on the site endrevengeporn.org for a list of the states with criminal statutes.

I just started to follow on Twitter the End Revenge Porn organization. Anyone interested in joining me? It’s @EndRevengePorn.