April is Sexual Assault Awareness Month and UCFPD sent out a video to inform students that sexual crimes are under reported on college campuses.

One such crime is revenge porn. A misdemeanor in Florida called Sexual Cyber Harassment, which is when someone posts a sexually explicit picture or video of another person without their permission, said UCF Police Cmdr. James Mangan. Often people use sexually explicit images that were either given to them or which they obtained through hacking or other means for extortion of money or more pictures, which is another crime, Mangan said.


UCFPD are changing their approach to dealing with victims of sexual crimes and providing a more welcoming environment to encourage victims to report their crimes, according to a UCF Today article.

Last year UCFPD had 5 revenge porn and 8 extortion cases, and so far this year there have been 2 revenge porn and 3 extortion cases, said Amanda Sellers, UCF public safety communications coordinator, in an email.

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On April 13 a march against revenge porn took place in downtown Orlando, from Lake Eola Park to City Hall. The event was organized by March Against Revenge Porn, an organization founded in 2017 by a victim of revenge porn, Leah Juliett, as a way to support other victims and connect them to resources, said BeLinda Berry, executive director for March Against Revenge Porn.

“They really started this out of the movement to try to help other people and to protect future victims,” Berry said. “So when this happens to other people they don’t have to go through it in shame and silence, they don’t have to go at it alone. There are people out there who are willing to help and want to help.”

One in 25 Americans are either threatened with or had their image shared online without their consent, Berry said. She said the number could be higher since many people don’t report it due to the stigma attached to it, and that women and people that identify as LGBTQ are disproportionately affected.

Marches are one of the ways that the organization uses to combat revenge porn, according to their website. Organizers came to Orlando from Washington D.C. and Pittsburgh to setup the march, after being invited by an Orlando area victim of revenge porn, Lori Jones.

Jones, victims advocate with 50 Shades of Silence – an organization that advocates for victims of cyber harassment and online crimes, according to its website – said she was a victim of revenge porn from her ex-husband. She said she didn’t know anything about revenge porn before going to police.

“I had no idea what it was when I went to the police station, never heard of it, never knew anything about it,” Jones said. “I just went to the police station because I wanted this to stop.”

Jones said she was “done wrong” by the state of Florida, because her ex-husband wasn’t prosecuted. She said she hopes this event will help to raise awareness about the topic.

Sara Smith, a junior social science major from Stetson college in DeLand, was one of the marchers. Smith, director of student programming in the college’s Title IX department, said incidents of revenge porn have happened on her campus.

“It happens across all campuses to my knowledge,” Smith said. “A lot of people didn’t know this is even illegal, a lot of people didn’t know that this is a violation of Title IX.”

Title IX protects against sex based discrimination, such as sexual assault, relationship abuse, stalking and sexual harassment, in education programs or activities that receive federal aid, according to the Office of Student Rights and Responsibilities.

UCF offers help and reporting options to anyone who is a victim of sexual harassment or misconduct on its Let’s Be Clear website, said Mark Schlueb, assistant director for strategic communications at UCF, in an email.

Mangan said UCFPD encourages anyone who is a victim of revenge porn or extortion to report it to police and not to comply with the extortioners demands, because “it’s not going to stop the threats or the behavior.” Victims should also keep any evidence, such as images or conversations, Mangan said.

“We’re not gonna judge anybody and we’re not gonna say you should have done this or you should’ve done that,” Mangan said. “We’re gonna do our job and we’re gonna try to find out who did the crime.”