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Public Lecture Series 2022: Alexa Dodge

A Restorative Approach to the Harm of Nonconsensual Pornography

Alexa Dodge

Hill Postdoctoral Fellow – Law, Justice, & Society Program, Dalhousie University

Associate – Restorative Research, Innovation, & Education Lab 

Monday May 30, 2022, at 6:30 pm Atlantic Time via Zoom

The nonconsensual distribution of nude or sexually explicit images (i.e. nonconsensual pornography) is increasingly recognized as a form of sexual violence that violates a victim’s right to privacy and bodily autonomy. High-profile cases of nonconsensual pornography from around the world have resulted in several international jurisdictions creating criminal and civil law responses to this act. As is often the case when governments are called upon to respond to harm, legal responses have been framed as amounting to taking the issue of nonconsensual pornography “seriously” and the creation of legal remedies have often overshadowed other options for response. While the framing of law as the most impactful remedy can result in the false belief that this issue has been adequately dealt with through legal regulation, in practice legal options do not serve the majority of those harmed and offer limited possibilities for prevention and culture change. In this presentation, I posit that the harm of nonconsensual pornography is often “rhizomatic” in nature and is, therefore, in need of a holistic, restorative response.