Without My Consent Winding Down
December 17, 2019
Dear WMC supporters,
We have some news to share -- after 9 years, we are winding down! We are excited to be transferring WMC’s resources to The Cyber Civil Rights Initiative (CCRI) where they will live on at withoutmyconsent.org/resources. CCRI is an organization near and dear to our hearts. Our two organizations have always been closely aligned. CCRI’s mission is to combat online abuses that threaten civil rights and liberties. If you’ve found WMC’s resources helpful, then please follow our resources and join our appreciation for CCRI as they lead us toward a world in which law, policy and technology align to ensure the protection of civil rights and civil liberties for all.
We want to take this opportunity to thank you for your support and kind words over the years. As a small, nimble, all-volunteer Board, we’ve relied on your stories and contributions as motivation from the organization’s inception and throughout its years of service.
When Without My Consent was first started 9 years ago, online harassment was starting to have real life repercussions, without justice or clear solutions. These years brought awareness, attention, and education to the serious problems of online harassment, and in particular image-based abuse. Over the years, we’ve seen some truly spectacular wins and a massive shift in public reaction to these crimes:
- 46 states in the United States and several countries have banned nonconsensual porn, including:
- The Philippines
- The United Kingdom
- New Zealand
- Search engine providers (Google, Microsoft) built tooling to enable de-indexing nonconsensual pornography from search results.
- Social media platforms (Microsoft, Facebook, Google) built automated portals to help victims take down nonconsensual pornography.
As an organization, we’ve had a tremendous amount of success, in no small part due to your support as a community. Below are the accomplishments you helped us achieve, to empower those victimized by this form of online abuse to create change and action:
- Published a Something Can Be Done! Guide to aid victims step by step.
- Published a Grade Your State Checklist, used to reverse engineer solutions for other states when we participated in former California Attorney General (now United States Senator) Kamala Harris’s Task Force Against Cyber Exploitation.
- Published a Digital Abuse Cheat Sheet and distributed laminated copies at events, trainings, and family courts to help victims obtain restraining orders.
- Collaborated with K&L Gates and CCRI to create a 2-part Sexual Privacy webinar (Part 1 and Part 2) available to all at the K&L Gates HUB.
- Published 119 Weekly “Roundup” newsletters, read by supporters like you, as well as Trust & Safety teams at tech companies.
- Published 23 state guides for the 50 State Project for victims to pursue justice.
- Taught LAPD’s law enforcement officers, and attended other law enforcement trainings to observe, develop teaching hypotheticals, and answer cyberlaw questions.
- Developed and taught Without My Consent’s Lawyer Training Program to scale justice and empower 50+ law students at UC Berkeley and UC Davis to successfully represent targets of nonconsensual porn and strive for rulings that shore up values of trust, privacy, free speech, and equality in a digital world.
- Presented at major tech companies (Twitter, Facebook, Google) regarding obstacles and technical solutions that would facilitate justice for targets of nonconsensual porn in court.
- Collaborated with exceptional peer organizations like CCRI, NNEDV, the CPEDV, and Legal Aid to raise the bar on the distribution of knowledge to combat digital abuse. Our vision was to invest in and support our domestic violence advocates who witness abuse trends at scale, as they, in turn, support the populations they serve in the digital era.
- Published a research study (Without My Consent Survey of Online Stalking, Harassment and Violations of Privacy) documenting the impacts of online harassment.
- Supported efforts to create change, such as participating in panels for the Netizens documentary and discussions with peer organizations through OnlineSOS.
Many of these results were enabled by the Digital Trust Foundation Grant awarded in 2015. The Digital Trust Foundation took a chance on a startup nonprofit and entrusted us with the funding needed to make much of the above possible. With those funds, we developed, created, taught, and learned, and through testimonials and weblog data, we know that WMC’s publicly available resources have been successful beyond our wildest dreams.
After some fruitful deliberation, taking account of the demands on our work and personal lives, we concluded that the best scenario for WMC moving forward is to wind down the organization and seek a new “home” for its excellent resources and what other opportunities may be ahead. Our number one goal is that the resources we’ve developed live on and remain available to victims and their advocates for many years to come.
If you are interested in staying up to date with the issues of online abuse, civil rights, and civil liberties, we encourage you to sign up for the CCRI mailing list and support CCRI -- we are excited to see what they will do next!
WMC Board of Directors
Colette, Erica, Marcia, Cynthia