Skip to main content
Open Access Publications from the University of California

UCLA Women's Law Journal

UCLA Women's Law Journal bannerUCLA


The UCLA Women's Law Journal is an academic legal journal that uses the power of language to educate people and make women's voices heard. We seek to do so by focusing not only on the common struggles of women, but also on diversity as a strength in feminist legal scholarship. Through diversity, we seek to represent the reality of all women's lives and experiences, without separating voices into exclusionary categories.

UCLA Women's Law Journal

Issue cover


Is Justice Best Served Cold?: A Transformative Approach to Revenge Porn

People often use retributive and utilitarian concepts to argue that we should throw people in jail for sharing nudes without the permission of the person depicted.  But it turns out that imprisoning people is not the best approach.  Revenge porn, the nonconsensual sharing of intimate images, is not an individual problem.  It is a sign that something is wrong with our society.  There are revenge porn criminal statutes in about thirty-four states and the District of Columbia, but many of them are ineffective due to limitations imposed by the First Amendment.  Thus, many scholars advocate for this to be a federal crime.  Criminalization within our current criminal justice system, while convenient, is not the best approach partly because prison makes most people worse off than they were when they came.  Furthermore, the United States is over-incarcerated and should find better ways to deal with crimes like revenge porn.  A transformative justice approach, which attempts to work outside of the criminal justice system to achieve meaningful remedies for survivors and meaningful punishments for offenders, is our best bet.