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Revenge porn is defined as posting sexually explicit content without consent, with the intent of humiliation, shame or blackmail. Revenge porn is a violation of  privacy and can result in extreme emotional trauma. 

Revenge porn is a serious form of assault, and as such, it is crucial that instances are reported to the police and the public prosecutor. There are several criminal acts that can be used as a legal basis to prosecute the posting of revenge porn. 

Sexual harassment (art. 182b of the Criminal Code):  filing a motion for the initiation of proceedings is a precondition to start the procedure. This means that you must inform the police and the public prosecutor - a standard procedure - as well as file a motion to initiate the proceedings. 

ADVICE: File the motion. The courts are a crucial component of protection against revenge porn.

Unauthorised wiretapping and recording (art.143 of the Criminal Code ), unauthorised taking of photos (art. 144), unauthorised publishing and presentation of another’s texts, portraits, and recordings (art.145 of the Criminal Code ), are other charges that refer to illegal recordings, and could be utilized to prosecute cases in which video was made without consent, even if it was not posted online.  These procedures carry private criminal charges, which means that you, the filing party,  must present the identity of the perpetrator, and as many details and as much evidence as you can (for example, where the recordings are stored, where the camera could have been placed during the recording, etc.). 

Your physical safety is the highest priority when it comes to protection.

If your harasser intentionally positions themself in your physical vicinity, you can request a court issued emergency restraining order. 

Document any and all recordings, comments, threats and other forms of harassment as crucial evidence for initiating protection mechanisms and/or court proceedings.

Seek support from CSOs, women’s support networks, and others who can help you choose the best way to protect yourself. 

Report any and all recordings, comments, threats and other forms of harassment to the platforms where they have been posted, and find out more about take down procedures on  Facebook and other platforms. 

And don’t forget, even if you originally gave your consent to be filmed, this does not imply consent for sharing that content. You are not to blame for being targeted with this type of assault.

 If you ever feel that the online violence you’re experiencing, might transition into the physical world, call the police → immediately. 

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Publicly disclosing personal information about a target, such as home address, familial status, bank and credit card details, date of birth etc. This information can be posted on one or many different platforms, in comment sections, or via video or text. 

Regardless whether or not disclosed data is utilised for harassment, the unauthorized posting of data alone, qualifies as doxxing, and is viewed as a type of online attack. As is often the case, when doxxing creates an imminent danger to safety, art. 138 of the Criminal Code - Endangering safety - could provide legal protection. In this case, public prosecutors and police are mandated to follow up, investigate and responsible for protection. As the filing party, you are responsible for collecting evidence  needed for filing the criminal charges. This charge provides stricter sanctions if the target is a (female) journalist.

ADVICE: Explain in detail how, why and when you feel unsafe, and detail your concern for the safety of your family and loved ones. These details could be the key to success when it comes to court proceedings.

Art. 146 of the Criminal Code, Unauthorised Collection of Personal Data, which prohibits the collection, publication and use of data for purposes “other than those for which they are intended”, could provide the basis for legal protection. 

Document every instance and location in which your personal data was posted, and file this evidence with the police.

Immediately report doxxing and any other unauthorised publication of personal data to the websites or platforms where it was posted, and to the police. 

Follow-up on your report to better ensure they respond.  Immediate action is key to prevent further distribution of your personal information online.

Turn off location tracking options on your phone, Google maps, and other applications that collect your sensitive data (location, key address, etc). 

Put strict privacy controls on your social media profiles, and two-step authentication  systems for all website logins storing your sensitive data. 

Talk to the people you trust - colleagues, friends, employers. Urge the police to alert the platform to remove your personal data, and use website and platform reporting mechanisms. 
Deleteme is a tool that can help find and remove sensitive data online.

If you ever feel that the online violence you’re experiencing, might transition into the physical world, call the police → immediately. 

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