Revenge porn refers to cases in which someone shares private, sexual photos or videos of someone else without consent. For most people who commit this terrible act, the intent is to humiliate the victim, who is usually a former sexual partner. Even if you have never been a victim of revenge porn, you have probably heard about some famous revenge porn cases. After all, some of the most famous victims include celebrities like Kim Kardashian, Paris Hilton, Rihanna, and Kate Middleton.

Fortunately, most states now have laws against revenge porn, offering victims the chance to file criminal charges or bring a lawsuit against the person who published private videos or pictures without their consent. In addition to monetary damages, revenge porn wrongdoing can have significant impacts on divorce and child custody cases. Read on to find out more about how victims of revenge porn can find justice in these family law matters.

How California handles revenge porn charges

It’s been against the law to publish private photos and videos for years now, thanks to statutes like California Penal Code Section 647(j)(4). It may come as a surprise, however, to find that this is classified as a domestic violence offense in some jurisdictions. In California, specifically, it’s considered domestic violence when the victim and offender have been sexual partners.

The rationale behind this domestic violence classification is because threatening to publish private images or videos against someone’s will is abusive, just like physical or emotional harm is. When you’re the victim of revenge porn, you feel powerless, as if you can’t stop your current or former partner from harming you in some way. That’s why it makes sense that revenge porn could have an impact on family law cases, just as any other type of domestic violence often does.

How revenge porn could affect your CA family law case

If you’re in the middle of a divorce in California and revenge porn has emerged as an issue in the case, you can expect that it will have an impact. Since revenge porn is classified as a crime of domestic violence, there are a number of remedies available to the victim in a family law case like divorce. For example, you have the option of getting a restraining order against the offender–which won’t look good for your former spouse in court.

If you’re in a custody battle, in particular, the revenge porn charges your former spouse is facing may help the judge see that it would be in the best interests of the children for them to stay in your care. So if you’re going for full custody–or if you want to challenge your former spouse’s custody proposal–it’s important to know that the revenge porn charges against him or her could help your case.

Civil remedies in revenge porn cases

A revenge porn conviction in criminal courts can result in major fines, jail time and the often lifelong consequences of having a criminal record. But there are also civil remedies you can pursue against your former spouse. In most cases, the burden of proof is lower in civil courts than in criminal courts, so you may have a better chance of a civil judgment against the offender.

If you pursue civil legal action, you should be able to get a restraining order against your former spouse rather quickly so he or she cannot contact you. You can then look into pursuing compensation to make up for any loss of income, pain and suffering, or other consequences you’ve been dealing with due to revenge porn. You can also get an injunction that will force the offender to remove your images or videos from the internet immediately.

If you have been a victim of revenge porn or any other type of domestic violence in California, do not hesitate to call the police if you feel you’re in danger. Then be sure to contact a lawyer who can help you pursue civil or criminal charges against the person at fault.

If he or she happens to be your spouse and you want a divorce, contact our North Bay family law attorneys today for help with the divorce and child custody details. Our team is experienced and compassionate, and we’ll be here to help you with your family law case after you’ve dealt with revenge porn or any other devastating type of domestic violence.