Revenge Porn Legislation Called For In Brazil Following 17-Year-Old's Suicide

Last week, a 17-year-old from Brazil named Julia Rebecca committed suicide after video of her having sex with other minors was posted online. Police are reportedly unsure who released the recording, and are investigating the case further. Rebecca appears to have been a victim of what's known as revenge porn: sexual content posted and distributed online without the consent of the person featured, with the purpose of shaming.

“I’m scared but I think this goodbye is forever,” Rebecca tweeted.

The case has sparked outrage in Brazil, where revenge porn appears to be on the rise. Now, many Brazilians are hoping the attention brought on by Rebecca’s death will pressure their government to pass a bill outlawing revenge porn. A bill introduced to Brazil’s parliament in October would make it illegal to disclose any material containing nude scenes and sex without the victim’s permission. People who break the law would face up to three years in prison or receive a fine.

The bill has overwhelming support from the citizens of Brazil. An online survey shows that 90 percent of those polled would vote in favor of it. (Women supported the bill by a 98 percent margin, while 85 percent of men agreed.)

Of course, revenge porn isn’t a problem exclusive to Brazil. This year, California Governor Jerry Brown signed revenge porn legislation into law, making it illegal to post sexually graphic photos or videos of someone without their consent. As Bustle reported:

While California’s bill is a step in the right direction, it falls far short of what’s really needed to end revenge porn.

…the bill is also contentious because a lot of people don’t think it goes far enough. Under the new law, a prosecutor must show that someone intended “to harass or annoy” in order to make the charge stick. Instead of making posting porn without a subject’s consent a crime, it requires a victim to prove that the poster intended revenge.

It also doesn’t apply to photos or videos a person takes or sends themselves. That means if you send a selfie, it’s still fair game for someone to upload it to a porn site and even identify you in it.

Currently, California and New Jersey are the only states in the U.S. that have laws against revenge porn.

(Photo via Flickr/Bobi-home)