EUGENE, Ore. -- The numbers are eye-opening: Nearly a quarter of high school age teens and a third of college students have shared nude photos over texts, and of those 17% have shared images they've received with others, according to the Eugene Coalition Against Sexual Exploitation of Youth. Now a proposed bill that's on it's way to Gov. Kate Brown's desk aims to stop the spread of sexually explicit images over text without consent.
Kerry Frazee, the director of prevention services at the University of Oregon, says consent is critical.
"It's important that consent is present, and it's important that communication takes place," Frazee said.
It's already against the law to share sexually explicit images online of someone without their consent in Oregon. House Bill 2393 aims to close a loophole, making it illegal to share them through texts and any other medium. The bill would make it a misdemeanor for first-time offenders and a felony the people convicted a second time. The bill would also allow victims to sue for up to $500.
Frazee said the university is already stressing the importance of consent. She said all incoming students are required to take the "Get Explicit" program. There students learn the importance of consent in all forms of communication.
"It's peer-led, and it focuses on having communication, on setting boundaries," Frazee said. "Knowing how you feel in our own body, being comfortable and having communication around consent."
The proposed law is not unique to Oregon. According to the national group Cyber Civil Rights Initiative, 45 states have laws that are cracking down on the practice.
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