Sometimes society moves faster than our legal system.
There are things we, as a society, know should be illegal but that aren't yet reflected in our legal system.
This week state legislators took a step in the right direction. Legislation has been authored that would make the non-consensual selling of intimate images and videos a felony—as it should have been.
The legislation, Senate Bill 1462, was authored by Sen. Kim David and it protects victims from their intimate images and videos being sold by former partners without their knowledge or consent.
Sen. David said she filed the bill after hearing from a constituent that struggled to safeguard her images, and her reputation, when an ex-spouse was trying to sell them.
“Anyone with a moral compass would never think to stoop so low, but unfortunately we have some sick individuals in our society. They thrive off humiliating their current or former partners any way they can, and when they get paid to do it, it’s even more enticing,” David said in a press statement regarding SB 1462. “My constituent’s ex-husband sold private videos of her to over 150 adult websites profiting from her humiliation and nearly costing her job in the military. Even after having numerous misdemeanor charges brought against him, he continues selling the videos. This is disgusting, and we need to protect people from having their private moments used against them during or after a relationship.”
The non-consensual selling of intimate images, often called "revenge porn," is not unique to Oklahoma and is more common than many think.
A 2014 article by the American Psychological Association cited this statistic: "A recent survey of a national sample of adults revealed that approximately 10 percent of ex-partners have threatened to post sexually explicit photos online and about 60 percent of those threats became reality."
We all know it's likely these numbers have skyrocketed with the emergence of new social media platforms and digital technology.
In terms of safeguarding victims of violent, sexual, or domestic crimes Oklahoma has not always had the best reputation. This legislation is a positive and refreshing step, though.
By stipulating that this offense be a felony, that first time offenders could face up to four years in prison and repeat offenders could face up to 10 years and be required to register as a sex offender, the state is taking a strong stance.
Sen. David said the bill will go into effect on Nov. 1.