Revenge Porn Takes Center Stage! You can help!

#revengeporn laws exist in 26 statesCatfish profile victims often experience revenge porn. Intimate pictures are tools predators use to inhibit their prey from stepping forward when the jig is up! Twenty six states in the US, from Alaska to Wisconsin, have laws to punish offenders, and efforts are underway in the UK to seriously address this crime. All around the world, people should be aware that this insidious behavior exists, and have the means to report offenses to the authorities.

One such victim, we’ll call her Lauren, was almost silenced by a sexual scammer’s threat of exposure. During intimacy, a man she met through e-dating, who turned out to be a prolific con artist and who fleeced her out of  $16,000 of her hard earned money, coerced her to allow him to snap nude photos….. “just for him,” of course. While his camera clicked away,  he “joked” about how he could blackmail her with the pictures…. wink, wink. Even worse, he PhotoShopped the end product to make her look demonic.

#revengeporn victims have rightsWhat had seemed like a shared intimacy at the time turned out to be nothing but a deliberate act to prevent her from coming after him when she learned the truth. His words rang in her ears reminding her of his defilement and rendering her helpless and depressed. With time, once she had figured him out, her concerns over exposure were outweighed by her empathy for future victims, and she is currently seeking justice through the courts.

Dr. Emma Short
Dr. Emma Short

Dr. Emma Short, (no relation to me except a shared philosophy,) C. Psychol,PhD, MSc., CSci, AFBPsS, FRSA, HCPC Registered Health Psychologist, is endeavoring to make a difference in the UK. Dr. Short is a Lecturer and Researcher at the University of Bedforshire. She co-founded the National Centre for Cyberstalking Research in the UK. Her 2011 report linked cyberstalking with physical stalking and disclosed that PTSD can result for both victims.

The following is a guest post from Dr. Short:

Have you ever had explicit images of you or anyone you know distributed or threats made to distribute them, by an ex-partner, acquaintance or stranger?  For many reasons people often suffer in silence and victims of Revenge Porn are only recently coming forward to describe the harm they have suffered, including stalking, loss of professional and educational opportunities, and psychological damage.

As with domestic violence and sexual assault, victims of revenge porn are often reluctant to speak out for fear of suffering negative consequences. We are only now beginning to get a sense of how large the problem of revenge porn is now that victims have a space to tell their stories, which has been enabled by the introduction of the UK and US state laws.

The fact that non-consensual porn so often involves the internet and social media, the public and the law has sometimes struggled to understand the mechanics of the conduct and the devastation it can cause. Although revenge porn can happen in a number of contexts, such as broken friendships or for financial gain from an unknown third party, frequently, the intimate images are themselves the result of an abuser’s coercion of a reluctant partner. In numerous cases, abusers have threatened to disclose intimate images of their partners when they attempt to leave the relationship. This is a crime that needs further understanding and a change in attitudes so that its victims do not experience blame for the actions of another.

Unfortunately there is little research available on revenge porn, the National Centre for Cyber Stalking (UK) has designed a questionnaire to collect a broad range of information from people who have experienced this form of abuse that may help to improve services, responses from industry and employers as well as continuing to raise awareness about the problem and its effects.

The survey can be found through this link.

https://beds.onlinesurveys.ac.uk/the-harassment-and-revenge-porn-survey

If you or anyone you know has been affected by revenge porn or harassment, these organisations can offer advice and support in the UK. The Revenge Porn Helpline on 0845 6000 459, email help@revengepornhelpline.org.uk or The National Stalking Helpline on 0300 636 0300, email: advice@stalkinghelpline.org.

If you are a victim of revenge porn in the US, in addition to responding to Dr. Short’s survey, please complete the short contact form at the bottom of the first page of this blog to let me know. Doing so will help raise awareness and create laws in the states where they don’t currently exist. The information comes only to my personal inbox; it is not visible to others on the blog. Your name and information will be held in the strictest confidence. Your voice can make a meaningful difference in tackling this problem!

Author’s Note- All support for this blog is funded through the sale of Carnal Abuse by Deceit on Amazon. Please purchase your copy and be sure to follow-up by writing a review on the Amazon site. 

 

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One thought on “Revenge Porn Takes Center Stage! You can help!”

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