Quantcast
Culture

Blac Chyna Granted Restraining Order Against Rob Kardashian

We spoke to victims of revenge porn about what it means to hold a Kardashian accountable for this relatively new and underreported form of harassment.

Linda Yang

Linda Yang

Photo by Matt Winkelmeyer via Getty Images

Blac Chyna has spoken out for the first time since being targeted by her ex-fiance Rob Kardashian, who published nude photos of her on social media in an act of revenge porn. "I was devastated," she said in an interview with ABC News that aired on Good Morning America. "This is a person that I trusted." Chyna was granted a temporary restraining order against Kardashian on Monday.

Last week, Kardashian posted explicit pictures of Chyna on his Instagram page without her consent, captioning the now-removed posts with accusations against her for drug use, alcohol abuse, and infidelity. When his Instagram account was suspended, Kardashian then published the photos on his Twitter account, tweeting: "Since Instagram shut me down everyone peep my twitter lol." The images have since been removed on both platforms.

On Good Morning America, Chyna said her initial reaction to seeing the photos was: "How could somebody do this to me?" This feeling of betrayal is just one negative consequence of revenge porn. In a recent study about the non-consensual sharing explicit images, author Amanda Lenhart found that in addition to causing humiliation and invading another person's privacy, revenge porn is "often posted alongside personally-identifying information," which can lead to additional harassment and threats from third parties after the revenge porn is initially shared. "People who have these images shared are legitimately, specifically, personally, professionally, and financially harmed by this experience," Lenhart told Broadly.

In America, 1 in 25 people have faced or been threatened with revenge porn—but many still don't see it as a real problem. A study published in the International Journal of Technoethics found that a majority of participants "expressed at least some enjoyment (87 percent) and approval (99 percent) of revenge porn."


Watch: Inside the Torturous Fight to End Revenge Porn


Some defenders of Kardashian's unsettling social media attack argued that because Chyna had already shared explicit images of her body online, Kardashian had done nothing wrong. Priyanka, a woman who does not support Chyna's revenge porn case against Kardashian, told Broadly, "Honestly, she puts herself out there. This is just what's going to happen."

Lisa Bloom, Chyna's lawyer who also litigated Mischa Barton's recent revenge porn case, explained that these arguments are propagated by rape culture and shouldn't distract from the fact that revenge porn is illegal in California. "[Kardashian] was attacking Chyna, primarily around her sexuality and her body, which is the way that women get attacked," she told Broadly. "We live in a culture that slut-shames women every day. Nothing she has done means that Rob has the right to reveal these photos without her consent."

Chyna put it succinctly on Good Morning America: "The moral of the story is, like, he doesn't respect me, so if you can't respect me, you have to respect the law."

Bloom hopes that the case against Kardashian will help people understand the gravity of revenge porn. "It's a crime, it's a civil wrong," she said on Good Morning America. "It's also domestic abuse, which allows us to go in immediately and get domestic violence restraining orders to protect Chyna."

"I'm not asking victims to change their behavior. I'm asking perpetrators not to commit crimes. It is a crime to post pictures like this," she continued. "And if you do it, I hope that the full impact of the law rains down on you."

For More Stories Like This, Sign Up for Our Newsletter

Sarah, a law student that has previously been threatened with revenge porn, tells Broadly she's "glad Blac Chyna is using legal recourse to hold Rob accountable," adding that "revenge porn is the ultimate form of cowardice because the offender is relying on the violent sexism of strangers to shame and harass someone that trusted them."

Mary, a recent college graduate who had nude photos of her taken without her consent and then distributed, agrees. "Revenge porn is a crime. Rob Kardashian should face the consequences that he deserves," she tells Broadly. "I hope in the end of all this, [victims] know their rights and what they can do."

"I'm pleased to announce in court this morning we had a complete and total victory," Bloom said on Monday after Chyna was granted a temporary restraining order against Kardashian. "The judge gave us everything we asked for, which is a set of very strong restraining orders, restraining him from coming near her and cyberbullying; restraining him from posting anything about her online."

"As we have said all along, revenge porn is a form of domestic abuse and a crime in California," she said.