Vox - October 30, 2019

"But she is not being investigated for this relationship. Instead, in addition to sharing her intimate images with the world, the RedState reported that texts from her ex-husband accuse her of having an affair with her legislative director,an affair Hill deniesbut which led to an ethics probe by the House. While RedState and the Daily Mail did not say where they obtained the nude photos and texts, Hill has indicated that they can be traced back to her ex-husband. She told the Washington Post that he engaged in a “smear campaign built around cyber exploitation” and that he enlisted “hateful political operatives” to help — and that is important to note."

Katie Hill’s time in Congress was brief but trailblazing, for better and for worse.

In March 2017, Hill, then a 29-year-old former director of a homelessness nonprofit, announced her run for California’s 25th congressional district. Her grassroots campaign went on to unseat a carbon-emission defending, gun-loving Republican who even voted to protect the Confederate flag. Hill not only turned the last red seat in Los Angeles County blue, but in a historic midterm, she was also among the 117 women who triumphantly stormed the United States Congress.

And in another historic first, on Sunday she became the first member of Congress to resign after an ex appears to have harnessed the bloodthirsty conservative media to make her the victim of what we odiously refer to as “revenge porn.”

Last week, both the conservative site RedState and later the tabloid Daily Mail published intimate photos of Hill and a woman who has been identified as a campaign staffer. Hill has since admitted to being in a relationship with the staffer, but has also said that the images were released without her consent, indicating that it was done by “an abusive husband who seems determined to try to humiliate me.” (Her ex has not issued a statement since the allegations were published.)

As attorneys who work day-in and day-out for individuals suffering the hell of intimate partner and sexual violence — online and offline — we have something important to say: Hill’s allegations cannot be reduced to “revenge porn.” It was far more insidious than that. We attribute it to a perfect storm of three things: 1) an alleged abusive ex, 2) a far-right media apparatus that enabled and amplified misogyny, and 3) a society gleefully receptive to the sexual humiliation of a young woman who dared be powerful. ...
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