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Katie Hill was in a relationship with a staffer. It’s wrong. Revenge porn is wrong, too.

The California Democrat resigned as a congresswoman on Sunday. She’s cooperating with an ethics investigation, as she should.

Let’s not get it twisted, though. How we got here matters, too.

Last week, RedState and the Daily Mail recklessly abandoned all integrity and published intimate photos of Hill and a woman, one of her campaign staffers. These images were not released with Hill’s permission. These images were allegedly leaked by Hill’s soon to be ex, “an abusive husband who seems determined to try to humiliate me,” she said in a statement to The Washington Post.

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Given the chaos swirling around this topic, you would think the relationship Hill is being investigated for — an affair with her legislative director Graham Kelly — is what drove her to resign.

But Hill steadfastly denies that accusation. Her resignation followed the leak of these images, which showed her in a relationship she admits having with a female campaign staffer before she was elected. The House code of conduct does not cover campaign staff, but Hill herself acknowledged relationships with subordinates are inappropriate.

Revenge porn. It’s the phrase we use to define weaponizing intimate images and videos. But the word “porn” alone creates a stigma around the person in the pictures instead of the person who wrongfully shared them.

Instead of talking about consent and the violation of it, the conversation becomes about why the photos were taken. We get caught up in shaming the body and shaming a form of sexual communication. Plot twist: sexy images shared consensually by lovers today are simply descendants of boudoir photography and other erotic imagery that dates back to the 1800s. It’s not new.

It’s not wrong, either — as long as they are consensual. But more often than not, when a woman or queer person is in the picture, they are blamed. And if we don’t shift our attitudes, this trend will keep us from meeting future leaders.

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When we call it “porn,” it changes the narrative. Be clear, Hill is a victim, too. Every time someone looks at nude images of her, they are taking part in her abuse. To click on the link, knowing she did not consent to having her images shared, is wrong.

“I’m ashamed to live in a culture where women who get naked or have sex are the ones shamed for their actions — Not the men who rape us,” Ashley Fairbanks wrote in an essay, “Release Your Own Nudes.”

Revenge porn is illegal in 46 states and D.C. But not Massachusetts.

Back in February, Governor Charlie Baker refiled a bill to fight the ways in which people use images, making revenge porn a felony for adults. It was referred to the Judiciary Committee back then and has yet to become law.

Similarly, in Washington, a federal bipartisan bill known as the SHIELD (Stopping Harmful Image Exploitation and Limiting Distribution) Act, cosponsored by Massachusetts Representative Katherine Clark, was introduced back in May. There’s been no vote yet.

These are not bills that can afford to sit in waiting. One in 25 Americans is a victim of revenge porn, according to a 2016 report by the Data & Society Research Institute. Women are nearly twice as likely to be victims, and 17 percent of LGB Americans have either had an intimate image shared without their consent or have had someone threaten to share an image of them — and that doesn’t include transgender and other queer people. It stands to reason the numbers for those groups are likely just as high.

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In the case of Hill, the media and political spotlight placed on her bisexuality smacks of bias.

“This focus diverts attention from the serious societal issues raised by this story, which include the harm caused by revenge porn and the harm caused by abuses of power in the workplace,” said Gina Scaramella, executive director of the Boston Area Rape Crisis Center.

“This case is incredibly complicated, but it’s not difficult to sort out the issues at play. Katie Hill is a victim of having had a sexually intimate photo of her published without her consent. It’s a serious crime and should be investigated,” Scaramella added. “Hill also engaged in a sexual relationship with a campaign staffer and is reported to have engaged in a sexual relationship with a member of her congressional staff. There is a fundamental imbalance of power for an employer to have a sexual relationship with an employee. The House Ethics Committee is investigating Hill’s behavior, as it should. Neither of these facts mitigate the other.”

Jaclyn Friedman, author of “Unscrewed: Women, Sex, Power & How to Stop Letting the System Screw Us All,” agreed we have to sort through the complexities and take a stand against inappropriate relationships, sexism, and a violation of consent. And we also have to be wary of who is controlling the narrative.

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“There’s a sense among political chattering classes who talk about politics that she shouldn’t have taken those photos. There is still a good amount of victim blaming,” Friedman said. “When it comes to scandals that involve sex and abuses of power, political commentators almost never recognize they are not experts. When they talk about a scandal that involves Ukraine, they call Ukraine experts, but when it’s sex they don’t. That’s how we get bad commentary or lack of coverage. Not everyone’s opinion on this issue is equally valid.”

And there are political motives at work in the sharing of Hill’s images far beyond a bitter divorce.

Almost a week before the House Ethics Committee opened an investigation of Hill, before photos were published, convicted liar George Papadopoulos tweeted “California’s 25th congressional district looks like it’s for the taking.”

RedState deputy managing editor Jennifer Van Laar also runs a Republican consulting and research opposition firm on the side. She’s worked with Republicans who ran against Hill. This is who first published those photos. You think that was about the public’s best interest? Nah.

Alex Thomas, Washington correspondent for Playboy, released the receipts on Twitter showing a California radio host approached the National Republican Congressional Committee with the Hill images before the story was published in RedState.

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One woman made a mistake. She might not ever be done paying for it.

What about the rest of us? Those of us who looked at the image, clicked the link, and ignorantly thought to ourselves, “Well, you shouldn’t have taken those pictures.”

What about the hateful husband, the so-called journalist who first posted the image, the one out shopping the photos, and the politicians clamoring to capitalize off the violation of a woman’s consent?

There is a long list of predatory voyeurs involved in leveraging private photos on public platforms for personal and political gain.

Hill is not a porn star. She’s a victim.

Jeneé Osterheldt can be reached at jenee.osterheldt@globe.com. Follow her on Twitter @sincerelyjenee.