NBC 5 Investigates how momemts of intimacy are now leading to years of regret. Websites that cater to relationaship revenge are creating a long list of vcitims, as lawmakers scramble to get ahead of the troubling trend.
A moment of intimate indulgence, a lifetime of regret.
Web sites that cater to relationship revenge directly solicit nude photos and video, and some encourage ex-lovers to not only upload images but also publish phone numbers, and social media links.
Victims of the so-called "revenge porn" are mostly women, a list that now includes several cases of suicide. With a federal law firmly in place that protects the websites from legal action, lawmakers in several states are now focusing on the revenge-seekers themselves.
A bill is advancing in Wisconsin this week, aimed at criminalizing the uploading of nude pictures or video without consent.
State Representative John Spiros' authored the bill.
"The people doing this uploading -- typically they've done it in a vengeful way, "Spiros told NBC5 Investigates. "So this takes that away and puts a law there that says this is wrong. You can't do it. There's been a few suicides. When you hear people who can't get jobs or have to change their name? Just from that standpoint, it's wrong."
In California and New Jersey, posting revenge porn is already a crime.
Legislation is also in the works in Maryland, New York, and Canada.
The Wisconsin legislation could up for a full vote next spring, but there is currently no such effort underway in Illinois.