Victims of online harassment and digital assault often feel they have no recourse when being stalked or bullied online.
The Digital Assault Defense Fund takes up cases and helps victims find justice. Scroll down for some examples of the kinds of cases and causes that the Digital Assault Defense Fund takes on.
Dissemination of intimate photos & video without consent
Women and sometimes men are increasingly discovering that they have been a victim of the distribution of intimate images without their consent. Often the perpetrator is their ex romantic partner. This is commonly known as “Revenge Porn.” Some states do not have a nonconsensual pornography law. In cases like this, attorneys that work in the digital assault arena can help victims obtain Family Court orders of protection. Experienced practitioners know that they can work with the family court system to do more than issue 50 feet buffers. Increasingly digital assault lawyers are demanding that courts prohibit the offender from engaging in further dissemination of revenge porn. Violations of an order of protection can result in immediate arrest for the perpetrator. This makes a real difference to victims in states where the law has not caught up to Internet crimes. This has resulted in quite a lot of success in stopping those guilty of spreading revenge porn.
Harassment through Dating Apps and Craigslist
Tinder, Grinder, and Craigslist are often used for romantic encounters, they are also used by vengeful ex’s to intimidate and harass. By posting false profiles and pictures, these assailants spoof their ex’s. Once they have respondents, they will promise sex if the person meets them at a specific place, often sending them to their real ex’s place of work or their home. Online dating apps have feigned indifference at these spoof accounts being set up to harass victims, and Digital Assault Litigators are actively working to force these sites to respond to those who are being done harm by vengeful ex’s.
Cyberstalking Through Email
Digital Assault is about more than Revenge Porn. Bad actors with only a modicum of technical sophistication can use easily accessible technology to anonymously harass their victims. This harassment can and does ruin lives. In one case, an attacker impersonated his girlfriend’s ex boyfriends – causing her to believe they were attacking her. The offender spoofed emails to make it appear that one ex was threatening violence against the victim; and that another was distributing non-consensual pornography of her. Later the same offender would go on to impersonate an attorney and send the victim a fake lawsuit. Digital Assault attorneys ultimately saw through the web of lies by using their investigative skills. They empowered the victim to separate from the attacker and move on with her life. The same digital assault attorneys were instrumental in successfully soliciting the involvement of law enforcement.
Sexual Assault and Schools
In 2015 a Brooklyn, New York 8th grader was sexually assaulted by one of her classmates. The assailant surreptitiously recorded the assault and distributed it throughout their middle school. In addition to enduring the assault, the victim had to face a cafeteria full of her peers laughing and gawking at a recording of it. When the matter came to her school’s attention the Administration responded by ordering her suspended from attending school. In this case, the victim needed an attorney available to educate the school on the severity of the nonconsensual distribution of child pornography taking place within their walls. She needed an attorney to advocate on her behalf with law enforcement, who struggle to keep pace with technological development and only sporadically recognize the seriousness of digital assault. The system failed the victim and a Digital Assault attorney worked pro-bono to hold those in power accountable.
Victims of nonconsensual pornography find their most intimate moments plastered on the Internet without their consent, shared among classmates, colleagues and strangers. No one should have to go through this. While there are no silver bullets, experienced attorneys hired by the Digital Assault Defense Fund can use their legal tools to remove the offensive content from the Internet. Utilizing a mixture of copyright law, tech company policy, and old fashioned advocacy, the Digital Assault Defense Fund has had tremendous success in reducing the spread and scope of client’s private and intimate pictures and media.