Zonta USA Advocacy Action Center

Zonta International is a global organization of individuals dedicated to building a better world for women and girls. The Zonta USA Advocacy Action Center is a tool for our members in the United States and other individuals who share our commitment to gender equality to take action to improve the lives of women and girls. With your help, we can make a difference. In addition to the actions below, click here to support our joint efforts with UNICEF USA to end child marriage in the United States.

Address online exploitation of private images
Though 46 states and the District of Columbia have laws banning “revenge porn”—when an intimate or explicit image is shared or published without the consent of the subject—there is no comparable statute at the federal level. 

When revenge porn is reported in the media, the focus is often on celebrities who have had private nude or explicit content made public without their consent. But this violation is not limited to famous people. According to a 2016 report, one in 25 online Americans (or 4% of internet users) have either had sensitive images posted without their permission or had someone threaten to post photos of them. Young women are the most likely to be targeted; one in 10 women under the age of 30 have experienced threats of nonconsensual image sharing.

The bipartisan Stopping Harmful Image Exploitation and Limiting Distribution (SHIELD) Act of 2023 (S. 412), which establishes narrow federal criminal liability for people who distribute others’ private or explicit images online without consent, would give federal law enforcement the tools they need to crack down on serious privacy violations. The bill also fills in existing gaps in federal law so that prosecutors can hold all those who exploit children accountable. Current state laws offer incomplete and inconsistent protection for victims of image exploitation.

Please use our pre-drafted letter to urge your senator to co-sponsor and support S. 412. If they have already sponsored or co-sponsored the bill, you can send a message of thanks.

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