A new law drafted by MK Yifat Kariv (Yesh Atid) targeting revenge porn was approved by the Knesset plenum on Monday and will prevent the distribution of some pornographic content over the Internet.

The law, which targets sexually explicit media posted without the depicted person’s knowledge or consent, also covers content shared on social media.

It stipulates that those found guilty of posting such content will be prosecuted as sexual offenders, while those who are targeted will be recognized as victims of sexual assault.

The crime will henceforth be punishable by up to five years in prison.

Kariv drafted the bill last year after a man shared a video of himself having sex with his ex-girlfriend on the mobile messaging application WhatsApp. The video was shared with tens of thousands of people after the two broke up.

“These days, we are witnessing more and more cases of sexual assault that are fecklessly documented and shared with the public,” Kariv said after the law was passed Monday.

MK Yifat Kariv of Yesh Atid (photo credit: Flash90)

MK Yifat Kariv of Yesh Atid (photo credit: Flash90)

“This legislative intervention is crucial and will help combat the shocking phenomenon of ‘virtual rape.’ This is a great accomplishment for victims of sexual crimes,” she said.

She added that distribution of sexually explicit media without permission “is no prank, as it could ruin the lives of people and young girls, some of whom develop suicidal tendencies or become unwitting porn stars as a result. This is a dangerous phenomenon that must be weeded out, and I’m glad that the Knesset thinks so as well,” Kariv concluded.