Katie Hill scandal underscores ongoing issue of 'revenge porn' with few solutions

Hill resigned amid controversy over an alleged sexual relationship with one of her staffers and the release of nude photos. Her case highlights the lack of broad nonconsensual porn laws in the U.S.
8:04 | 10/30/19

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Transcript for Katie Hill scandal underscores ongoing issue of 'revenge porn' with few solutions
This coordinated campaign carried out by the right wing media and Republican opponents, enabling and perpetuating my husband's abuse by providing him a platform is disgusting and unforgivable, and they will be held accountable. Reporter: California representative, Katie hill, a rising star in the democratic party now tarnished, resigning in the face of what hill calls a campaign of revenge porn. I made this decision so that my supporters, my family, my staff and our community will no longer be subjected to the pain inflicted by my abusive husband and the brutality of hateful political operatives. Reporter: Intimate photos showing hill with a female staffer were published on the "Daily mail". Alleging that she was involved go a thruple. She has accused her husband of being abusive and running a quote, smear campaign against her by leaking nude photos of her with this campaign staffer with whom she had this sexual relationship. Reporter: "Red state" also alleged that hill had been involved in a second affair with her current legislative director, which would violate house ethics rules. Hill has denied those allegations. I think she's being treated fairly in that her behavior was unbecoming of a member of congress. I think her constituents were probably not okay with the behavior. Congresswoman hill was facing a house ethics committee investigation over allegations she had a sexual relationship with a member of her staff. Reporter: Her ousting serves as a major blow to her party. She was a member of "The big six". Six of the promising new freshmen in congress. She was one O came into office in 2018 and had the position of vice chair of the house oversight committee, which is a really important committee, particularly in this impeachment inquiry. Reporter: The openly bisexual congresswoman garnered support of her constituents and celebrities alike. Katie has been an advocate for people her whole career. Reporter: But her once-promising career now derailed amidst a failing marriage. I never thought mayim perfections would be weaponized to destroy me. Now it's time to get back to work. You see what's happening in Washington. Reporter: Before she defeated incumbent, Steve knight. Katie hill was part of the blue wave that delivered T house in the Democrats hands. The question now is whether they can hold onto that seat. Reporter: Hill's defender says there is a sexist double standard. Duncan hunter has been indicted on using campaign funds for affairs with five women. The difference between hunter and hill is that Katie hill doesn't have a father who was a well-known, well-respected member of congress whose seat she took over and whose name recognition is extremely high and popular in the district. Reporter: In a statement, she said it was politically motivated and remains politicalry motivated now. I will not allow myself to be a distraction from the constitutional crisis we're faced with. So I have to take my personal fight outside the house of congress. Reporter: She's dedicating herself to fighting revenge porn on behalf of countless others. It remains unclear as to who leaked the photos to the media. Hill's husband's attorney did not respond to requests for comments. Some people call this digital exploitation. Others call it revenge porn. As the victim of it, I call it one of the worst things we can do to our sisters and daughters. Because she lost her career based on these images, she has a case against whoever shared these images with the press. Reporter: This attorney specializes in revenge porn cases. Give me an example of how revenge porn cases are growing. Five years ago we would get one phone call every three months, now we get a phone call a day. There's an epidemic of revenge porn cases now. Reporter: And more often than not, the victims are women. They are. Rrp he says he's tracked down offenders from all walks of life. Police officers, members of the armed forces, members of local churches. This is a crime that every day people are the criminals in. Reporter: But he says a national law would help revenge porn survivors who often face an uphill legal battle, in part because laws against it vary dramatically from state the to The problem is the area of law is so new and the statutes haven't been fleshed out the way they should. Congresswoman hill is from California, there's a strong statute. But unfortunately, a lot of states aren't as strong as those two states. Reporter: Hill is far from the only alleged victim in recent years. The digital smears in trapping celebrities and every day citizens alike. Nearly 10 million Americans, one in 25, have been threatened or the victim of revenge porn. I saw these links, and then clicked on this video and realized that I'd been assaulted. Reporter: Perhaps no one knows the challenges facing victims better than YouTube star Chrissy chambers, whose year-long odyssey paved the way for survivors. At 18 years old, Chrissy says her ex-boyfriend secretly taped himself having sex with her when she was passed out drunk before releasing the video in 2018. It was a horrific pain. My world came crashing down. Reporter: Chrissy says she didn't know she was being filmed at the time and only found out about the tape from disturbing messages left by her own followers. At the time, ABC news made repeated attempts to reach out to her alleged offender B never heard back. It was single-handedly, probably one of the hardest moments of my life. I literally collapsed on the floor. Reporter: Chrissy's road to justice was difficult, since it was posted in the uk before revenge porn laws were on the books there. She was unable to pursue criminal charges. It was like stumbling in the dark. They would say I'm so sorry this happened to you, but we can't help. Reporter: Her journey meticulously documented on her and her partner's YouTube This is what we've been going through for two years now. Reporter: Moments after she gave her police report, Chrissy spoke to "The guardian". What they have now is not the it's just not enough. And's ruining people's lives. Im'going to fight and continue to fight to not let it ruin mine. Reporter: Despite the setback, Chrissy eventually won a landmark civil case against her offender, the first of its kind in the uk. You can sue, you can make sure something happens to the person that's done this to you. We get a lot of phone calls from people who believe there's nothing they can do at this point, especially younger that's not true. Reporter: Chrissy celebrated by proposing to her long-time partner on the courthouse steps. But for congresswoman hill, her future remains to be seen. I grew up riding horses. The most important thing I learned is when you fall off you have to get right back up in the saddle. I'm going to do that. I hope I can count on to you do the same and join me on the next ride.

This transcript has been automatically generated and may not be 100% accurate.

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