SALEM, Ore.–

After escaping an abusive relationship, Sophia Adams was shocked to discover nude photos of herself online. The compromising photos of the Beaverton woman appeared on a website linked to her personal Facebook page, allowing all her friends to view them. To have the images removed, Adams was forced to pay a $400 fine.

Adams had become a victim of revenge porn, an abuse in which a vengeful partner posts pornographic content of their ex online without permission.

On Thursday, Oregon’s Senate unanimously passed a bill proposing to criminalize revenge porn. In Oregon and 34 other states, revenge porn is currently not punishable by law. Stories like Adams’ are becoming increasingly common occurrences.

“I just got out of an abusive relationship and I was mortified, hurt, angry, and anxious when I saw that my ex had posted naked private pictures online that I allowed him to take when we were together,” Adams wrote.

Adams started a Change.org campaign calling for the Oregon legislatures to outlaw revenge porn.

“This is a form of sexual harassment and needs to be addressed,” Adams wrote. “Please sign my petition to pass a law that will help protect me and others like me that have gone through this humiliatingly hurtful sexual harassment.”

Passed on Thursday, Senate Bill 188 would make posting naked photos collected during a romantic relationship online without the subject’s permission a misdemeanor on first offense, and a felony for every subsequent offense.

“Nobody should have to endure the humiliation of this happening to them,” Sen. Tim Knopp, R-Bend, said in a floor speech.

Online platforms are hesitantly joining the call for reform. Reddit’s new privacy policy, effective March 10, will combat cases of revenge porn. The updated policy does not allow users to post or link to unauthorized images and videos of people who are nude or engaged in a sexual act.

“If tech platforms wanted to step up and tackle this issue, they could do so much more than laws to eradicate this issue over time,” said Mary Anne Franks, vice president of the Cyber Civil Rights Initiative, an anti-revenge porn advocacy group.

Many find weaknesses in Reddit’s reform, noting that victims must first alert Reddit of inappropriate content before the images are removed.

“It does put the burden on the victim but honestly, compared to how things were before, this is still really good,” said Franks.

Following Reddit’s failure to take decisive action following last year’s “celebgate” catastrophe, current administrators hope the site will become a positive example.

“Last year, we missed a chance to be a leader in social media,” Reddit announced in a blog post.

As Bill 188 reaches the House for consideration, activists nationwide look to Oregon to lead legislative reform defending the decency of cyber-victims.

When not writing, Sierra can be found conducting experiments in the chemistry lab or whipping up delectable creations in her kitchen. With a passion for storytelling, Sierra puts her natural curiosity to use investigating enlightening angles for news and events here at The Oregon Optimist.