(Austin, TX) – Senator Sylvia Garcia and Representative Mary González will hold a joint press conference on the Relationship Privacy Act tomorrow morning at 9:30am. They will be joined by a victim who will share her story. Advocates from the Texas Council on Family Violence (TCFV), the Texas Association Against Sexual Assault (TAASA) and the Harris County District Attorney's Office will also be there to explain the need for this legislation.
Senator Garcia and Representative González have partnered with victims, TCFV, TAASA and district attorneys to put a stop to the disturbing internet trend of disclosing sexually explicit images without the consent of the depicted person. SB 1135 by Senators Garcia, Huffman and Zaffirini has been filed in the Senate and HB 496 by Representative Mary Gonzalez is posted for a hearing at 2pm on Wednesday, March 11th.
The nonconsensual disclosure of these images often results in immediate and irreversible harm to the victim. Victims' images are commonly posted along with information such as their name, contact information, and links to their social media profiles. They are frequently threatened with sexual assault, harassed, stalked, fired from jobs, or forced to change schools. Some victims have even committed suicide. In many instances, the images are disclosed by a former spouse or ex who is seeking revenge. Thus, this practice has been commonly referred to as "revenge pornography." To add insult to injury, "revenge porn websites" are further preying on victims by charging fees to remove the sexually explicit images from the internet.
Media and the public are encouraged to attend the announcement of SB 1135 and HB 496.