Intimate videos and photos of an Arizona student were reportedly distributed to a chapter of the Delta Sigma Phi fraternity at the University of Central Florida. The student's significant other is a member of the fraternity, which is why he had access to the "Dog Pound"—a private Facebook group where the brothers posted nonconsensual photos and videos of their sexual partners.
Now, the student is suing the fraternity for statutory, compensatory, and punitive damages. That essentially means she's seeking money to compensate her under the current law governing the distribution of non-consensual sexual material (i.e. revenge porn), as well as compensation for the damage it caused her emotionally and psychologically and additional damages as punishment for what was done to her.
She is also seeking an injunction to prevent her images and video from being further disseminated.
The complaint noted that UCF permitted a culture that allowed the proliferation of revenge porn, but the university was not included in the lawsuit. In response, the university stated that it is “gathering information." Delta Sigma Phi has been suspended at UCF, and the university is encouraging all other women who were victimized by the fraternity to come forward. The plaintiff's lawyer noted that images of other women were disseminated by the fraternity's private group as well—many of whom may not even be aware of what has been done to them.
Urgent Civil Action Is Vital
1 in 8 American social media users are the target of non-consensual pornography according to data from the Cyber Civil Rights Initiative. Additionally, there seems to be a pattern between tightly-knit 'brotherhoods' and the erosion of privacy for female partners. This is far from the first revenge porn scandal caused by a fraternity. A Penn State fraternity was at the center of a closed Facebook group doing the same thing, and there was a nude photo scandal involving some Marines not long ago.
Actions like this betray the values that fraternities and brotherhoods were created to uphold.
When fraternities mistreat women, it's vital for them to move quickly to protect their legal rights. Otherwise, they run the risk of allowing the video and images to be distributed even further. Asking the court for an injunction to stop the further distribution of the sexual material is a good first step in trying to contain the damage, but it is just one of the things that should be done as quickly as possible. If you have been a victim of similar behavior, let us know. We can help.