Gendered Violence and Victim-Blaming: The Law's Troubling Response to Cyber-Harassment and Revenge Pornography

8 International Journal of Technoethics 18-29 (2017)

Posted: 30 Mar 2017

See all articles by JoAnne Sweeny

JoAnne Sweeny

University of Louisville Louis D. Brandeis School of Law

Date Written: March 8, 2017

Abstract

Cyber-harassment and Revenge pornography are international problems that can cause psychological, financial and physical harm to their victims. And yet, despite legal efforts in several countries, the law has yet to fully address these issues. Instead, enactment and enforcement of laws is undermined by the gendered nature of these acts, which leads to (typically male) police and prosecutors to treat victims with ambivalence and even scorn. This article shows that, despite the prevalence and dangers involved with cyber-harassment and revenge porn, victims are still often left without redress. This article also analyzes law enforcement’s tendency to minimize victims’ harm and blame victims for their own suffering. Finally, this article discusses how perceptions may begin to change, which could lead to a better understanding of the full range of behaviors and effects of cyber-harassment and revenge pornography and, consequently, better legal outcomes for victims.

Keywords: Cyber-Harassment, Revenge Pornography, Feminism

Suggested Citation

Sweeny, JoAnne, Gendered Violence and Victim-Blaming: The Law's Troubling Response to Cyber-Harassment and Revenge Pornography (March 8, 2017). 8 International Journal of Technoethics 18-29 (2017). Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2929573

JoAnne Sweeny (Contact Author)

University of Louisville Louis D. Brandeis School of Law ( email )

Wilson W. Wyatt Hall
Louisville, KY 40292
United States

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