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Holly Jacobs has become the face of a cause, fighting to protect victims of so-called revenge porn – because she is one herself. NBC 6's Gilma Avalos reports.
She has become the face of a cause, fighting to protect victims of so-called revenge porn – because she is one herself.
"You feel like the world is closing in on you, you feel like every aspect of your life is going to destroyed by what this person is doing,” Holly Jacobs says.
But there was a time the Miami woman wanted to be invisible and curl up into a ball, after private moments shared with a person she loved and trusted stopped being that, and went viral.
"We carried on our relationship from a distance – and exchanged intimate photos – and I completely trusted him with this material,” said Jacobs, who wants to outlaw revenge porn in Florida and across the United States. “I didn't ever think he'd ever use this to try to ruin my life.”
Jacob said that out in cyberspace, the material she once shared with her ex-boyfriend threatened her career, relationships, and her safety, as she even had stalkers. Jacobs filed charges against her ex, Ryan Seay. A few weeks ago, the criminal case against him was dismissed.
In an interview with NBC News earlier this year, Seay's lawyer maintained his client never posted any photos and that his computer had been hacked.
Jacobs said there is currently very little law enforcement can do to protect victims.
"There aren't good laws in place against this. For them to enforce,” she said.
That’s why she's launched endrevengeporn.org – to provide activism for victims hoping to criminalize revenge porn in the U.S.
It’s a battle she's waging here at home. In April, a Florida bill to outlaw revenge porn failed to pass the legislature. But Jacobs is determined to keep fighting.
"We need to be putting the blame where it belongs, which is on these perpetrators trying to destroy lives,” she said. “It’s as simple as that.”
Recently, California’s governor signed a law that makes revenge porn a misdemeanor. Some critics say it is not enough, as it does not apply to so-called “selfies.” It only applies when the photographer is the distributor.
Jabobs said it’s a small step in the right direction.
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