NOW Supports Making Cyberflashing an Offense

Press Releases / May 12, 2022

NY Cyber Flashing Act

Memo of Support for A318B/S6420A

The National Organization for Women of New York urges lawmakers to support legislation that will make cyberflashing a violation offense under New York law and recognize this unwanted behavior as not only abusive but unlawful.

Cyberflashing is an increasingly common form of sexual harassment impacting women in New York City and across the state. This modern form of harassment can take a number of forms and often involves the digital nonconsensual transmission of lewd still images, particularly of male genitalia and videos of male genitalia, nudes, and pornographic material, via text, email, direct message, or airdrop. 

Assemblywoman Amy Paulin and Senator James Skoufis’ bills, respectively A318A/S6420A, will make cyberflashing a violation offense in New York for individuals at least 18 years of age who send by electronic device an unsolicited image or video with the intent to harass, annoy or alarm another person.

Nearly half of all millennial women have been a victim of cyber flashers, according to YouGov, the global public opinion and data company. NOW has received complaints of cyberflashing. Women report being targeted, particularly, while commuting in New York City’s transit system.

This law would serve as a much-needed deterrent. In addition to the summons, the person who receives a violation may be required to successfully complete a sexual harassment training, if the court deems it necessary.

Cyberflashing is a pervasive form of digital harassment and the New York Cyber Flashing Act will send a strong message that it is an unlawful action that will not be tolerated in New York, and that those who are targeted by cyber flashers have the ability to report it.

The National Organization for Women of New York asks all New York legislators to join us in co-sponsoring this legislation to advance women’s equality and continue the important work of ending everyday sexism and sexual harassment, in all its forms.

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Download a copy of the memo of support here.