Separation between partners can be devastating but online revenge websites can make the experience traumatizing as is the case for Desiree Capuano.
Capuano’s ex-husband Patrick Fox has assembled a website targeting his ex-wife throughout their custody battle for their son. Fox has outlined Capuano’s sex life and painted her as a drug – addict and white supremacist. Although Fox was arrested by the police for harassment he was discharged as the judge found that there was a lack of imminent threat and no objective fear for personal safety due to the physical distance of the couple.
Similar cases have arisen regarding revenge porn websites where individuals have posted intimate videos or photos of their ex’s on websites as revenge. Motives for revenge include but are not limited to being cheated on, dumped for another person or just not being happy with the breakup terms. This kind of action is illegal in Canada and has serious repercussions. However, many argue that the law should extend further to protect individuals like Capuano despite the lack of physical threats to her safety.
Some legal practitioners are beginning to argue that the world wide web requires stricter regulation in Canada. Some individuals feel that the law is not properly equipped to address matters of harassment and bullying as it should be. Although lawmakers have made attempts to address the issue of bullying among children and teenagers, some individuals argue that the same level of protection does not extend to adults. Perhaps this is because adults are assumed to be impacted less by such actions.
Moreover, some legal practitioners have argued that courts should begin to consider reasonable fear of psychological safety as a factor when considering such cases. It is argued that when these provisions were drafted in the early 1990’s no one had considered the implications of online harassment as its use was not as widespread as it is now.
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What is your stance? Do you believe adults should take these matters less seriously? Or do you feel this man should be punished for his actions? Leave your thoughts in the comments.
Points of Discussion:
1. How are revenge websites addressed in your country?
2. What do you wish was different about how such cases are handled?