My World, Upside Down

Isn’t it amazing how one second can alter your life so much?

Well, that’s exactly how I felt on February 22, 2012 and every day after. That moment when you discover you’re nude all over the internet will definitely send a million emotions through your head, to say the least. The most common thoughts that ran through my head were “what if  I never checked my email” or “what if I never dated him” or “what if I never hit send?” I’m sure many victims feel the same way. But then I took a step back and realized the only mistake I made was trusting such a disturbing individual.

I can remember that the moments leading up to that email, my biggest concern was studying for that exam that I never got the chance to take and a second later my biggest concern would become getting my pictures off of pornographic sites. In that moment I wanted to curl up and die, I didn’t care who I would be leaving behind on this earth, I was humiliated and felt so betrayed. Nobody could possibly understand how I felt. The tears poured down my face instantaneously. I kept thinking to myself “this can’t be real, this only happens in movies, how could someone I trusted so much do this to me?” I felt like someone had just stabbed me in the gut, sadly a feeling that I would feel all too familiar with later.

I wanted to go backwards in time, just to five minutes before and never open that email. I knew from that minute on that my life would never be the same. The pictures had been up for three months before they surfaced to my attention. Anything given that much time on the internet has the capability of going viral. In time, I realized that’s exactly what happened with my pictures. They started on one site and ended up on more than one hundred and continue to circulate. In that moment, I felt that my only option was to go to the police. I called my friend and she rushed over to be by my side. She supported me through everything and took me to the police station. The police were extremely helpful right away; they started writing down points and investigating into my case immediately. Their advice to me was to go home and call the sites that I had been notified about and see if they could take down the pictures.

I did just that. I was asked to email someone that worked for each site and send a picture of myself holding up a sign with my name on it. This was to verify that the pictures online were of me. Once the email was received, the pictures were removed within 24 hours. On March 18, 2012, I was down the shore at my best friends shore house when I received a phone call around 11AM from the police station. When I picked up the phone call it was a voice that I was not familiar with. It was an officer that I had not worked with previously on my case. He called to tell me that my ex was in custody and that they needed me to come down to the station to fill out some paper work. I literally said “okay, thank you” and hung up in shock. The idea of them catching my ex and him getting arrested was such a foreign thought.

Though I live in New Jersey, where it’s illegal to post nude photos of someone without their consent, I was told over and over again that this was such a gray area in law and that it’s extremely difficult to catch the perpetrator. So to get a phone call like that completely caught me off guard. The plan was to stay at the shore house until the evening on that Sunday, however I was so frantic I knew that sitting there would just keep me wondering what was going on. I packed my overnight bag up quickly and headed out to finally close this chapter in my life. Hours later I arrived at the police station where I was told that my ex had been released ten minutes prior to my arrival. This made me extremely nervous seeing as there was a chance I could have run into him in the parking lot if I was just a few minutes earlier. I was brought into a small room where I was told that my ex boyfriend was questioned and he denied everything and then later admitted to posting naked pictures of me without my consent. I was asked to do a written statement and I was told he would be getting charged with Invasion of Privacy. I was told this was a domestic violence case and because we were once in a dating relationship I had the opportunity to get a temporary restraining order. Since I clearly did not know my ex the way I thought I did, I figured it would be smart to get a temporary restraining order. Because it was Sunday, the officer had to call the judge at home to get it approved. After staying on the phone with the judge for about a half hour, my TRO (temporary restraining order) was granted and I would have to appear in court the following week to make it a final restraining order (FRO).

With an end in sight, I walked out of that police station, holding my head high and feeling relieved. Little did I know that this was just the beginning of a long journey ahead.

  • Kristi

    Anisha!
    You are amazing. To tell your story from the start in writing is like reliving it all over again, yet you do it so others can relate and not feel alone and even learn from it. I’m so proud of you! And even though I know your story all too well-it’s crazy to see it written out and how the hairs on my arms still stand up and I get goosebumps. People don’t realize how this can actually happen to any of us! It so scary. It’s a tough world we live in but thankfully people like you make it a better place – thank you for being so strong and sharing this with the world! Love you!
    -kristi

  • Dixie Lee

    Good for you Kristi for encouraging Anisha. That’s exactly how this kind of BIZAAR and cruel situation can change. There are some freaks and slimy people out there, but together, we can fight this FILTHY, SNEAKY injustice!!

    Yes, it can happen to anyone and will continue to happen until we stay solid and work toward a better tomorrow! I am so sorry to learn about some men who get gratification hurting women, especially, in the area of sexual violations, but UNFORTUNATELY they do!!

    I am proud of Anisha and you Kristi. Keep encouraging and supporting one another in this dark, evil problem and have faith . . . read your scripture . . . God DETESTS HE JUST HATES this kind of injustice!! He watches over . . . God Bless!

    Dixie

  • Ana

    I have been a victim of unauthorized photos of me being posted in porn sites for many years. I was too ashamed and too afraid to face reality of betrayal of someone I loved that I have not taken legal action. I found out about these through anonymous emails and I would delete them immediately, hoping no one in my life that I care for would ever see them. Yesterday, a friend talked to me, not anonymously, but in person, offering to support, urging me to take action. Finally, I have gathered courage to take action. I’ve been depressed for a decade, hating myself for my mistakes. I don’t know what I can do – but I will do something to face the truth and defend myself. Thank you for sharing your experience. If anyone has suggestions, I will appreciate it. Is DMCA Defender a reliable company to get help? Ana

    • ERPadmin

      Holly has used DMCA Defender herself. They offer special rates to victims and some of their profits (full disclosure) go to support the End Revenge Porn campaign. They also monitor the sites for your pictures afterward. We have found them to be incredibly supportive of victims and our movement, and work with them closely to track new issues and emerging trends relating to revenge porn. It is possible to send out DMCA takedown letters yourself, for free, but the process can be time consuming (if you have questions about how to do that we would be happy to help!). DMCA takedown letters are not a cure-all, especially given the viral nature of revenge porn, but until more laws are passed it is one of the few tools we have at our disposal.

  • Enigma

    I was posted too, about seven years ago, by a former friend who was sure I was sleeping with her ex husband, though I never did and no assurances would convince her otherwise. I have a very hard time trusting anyone with even very casual photos and am very careful not to post personal information anywhere online now, because they also posted a lot of personal info with my photos, which brought a lot of unwanted attention, including harassment and stalking. I signed the petition, and I will follow this. We have to protect peoples’ safety, security and anonymity. No one deserves to be humiliated or exposed against their will for any reason, and this kind of victimization has to stop.

    • Dixie Lee

      Enigma, Thank you for having the courage to talk about what happened. I am more comfortable now to have my photos now because I’ve worked through a lot of the pain and embarassment. I realize now, after a long time – and I can see it’s been a long, painful time for your too – that I AM NOT THE GREASEBALL, LOSER —– the persons involved in taking illegal images/photos of me WITHOUT MY CONSENT — are the losers. Please remember that. Also one of the main ways I’ve finally begun to heal and believe the truth – that that I am a worthy and lovable child of God- is by study God’s word and BELIEVING IT!!! You may not want to do that, but it has made all the difference. Also I want to add that I’m thankful to see you and others sign the petition. This kind of terrible crime/exploitation is finally getting A LOT OF ATTENTION and the people who are willing to harm people in this way, will pay a price. I don’t know where you live but it’s not going to be easy for criminals that do this in CALIFORNIA AND NEW JERSEY. It will other places too. I want to recommend writing a letter to your Senator and State Representative and tell them about the pain, loss and sorrow. I can from the details of your brief description that you didn’t deserve to be the victim of anothers’ maliciousness and neither did I. Neither did Holly Jacobs. Neither did Bekah Wells and so many others. It’s because of Holly Jacobs, Bekah Wells and others like you that this crime will continue to gain LEGISLATIVE STRENGTH!! When I finally got over much of the fear, sadness and hurt, I realized I NEVER deserved to experience this even if I do have (as does everyone some sinful mistakes or poor choices in my past). Never forget that!!
      I WANT TO EMPHASIZE AND ENCOURAGE THE LAST STATEMENT YOU MADE

      We have to protect peoples’ safety, security and anonymity. No one deserves to be humiliated or exposed against their will for any reason, and this kind of victimization has to stop.

  • Ana

    I have signed the petition and also engaged with DMCA Defender. They have been incredibly professional and supportive.

    It’s taken me almost a decade to get the courage. Ten years of living with heartache.

    I hope I can help others who might be going through this. No one should go through this but if it happens, it should not take them as long as I have taken to act. Thank you for driving the campaign – it helped me to get courage to decide to defend myself.

    • ERP

      We’re so happy to hear our campaign has helped you! Please continue to reach out to us if there is ever anything we can do to continue supporting you. For every person like you that speaks up, another sees it and knows they are not alone!

  • Jim

    I was a victim of this. I understand and appreciate your story. I was an aspiring fitness model whom tried to make it in the magazine world. I was approached on Facebook by a ‘ scout ‘ for a random agency that was never valid. I was harassed by this individual and said no to nude pictures. I messed up because I had a few nude pictures of my private parts on my iPhoto on my computer. Little did I know that I was victim of a stalker that eventually hacked in my computer and posted the pictures on a gay porn site that links my name under google. Wonderful. I’ve hired lawyers. Private investigators. The person hacked into my computer and accessed private nude images of myself and posted them on websites when shown under my name under google which hinders my ability to find a job and family etc etc… Lesson of the story is to protect yourself. Don’t trust anyone online. There are no laws out there to protect you but yourself.

  • amber

    My pictures are on this website and I dont no how to remove them and it hasnt been very long since they have been posted but once I seen them I just broke down and went crazy! I understand I sent out the pics to the person and I shouldnt have but now they have went and posted it on the e net but I really want them off

  • You are so brave to do this … I’ve tryd n I hate that the man I loves n trusted posted nude pics of me I went to a lawyer n he advised me that there was nothing he could do but also told me that next time ain’t take those pics ugh …. so embarrassing really if you know if anything I don’t please help

  • Nancy

    Thank you for having the courage for telling your story. I wish I had your strength. Is this a safe website. Never thought about it until now. Naïve, trusting, wants attention, and much many worse things have been said about me. God only knows that I wish I could leave.

  • shamed

    thank you for sharing your story, I know that this will get easier in time. At this moment I feel like my world crashing down. I didn’t know that he had taken video of me and I didn’t know that he had anything like that of me. I hadn’t even spoke to him in months we weren’t even together all that long.I have no idea what to do or how to make it stop I had to shut down any social media I had because people all over the world were sending me horribly nasty messages and pictures. They need to make a law to stop this. I feel like I should hide my face when I’m in public. Everyone I meet I ask myself of they have seen it. I didn’t even know these websites existed. I’m so heartbroken and embarrassed. I don’t know what to do I don’t know where to turn.

    • Molly

      Shamed,

      I know how you feel as I have videos of me circulating as well. I know the feeling of embarrassment, betrayal, and disgust in the pit of your stomach. I still get messages every day on my social media from men who think it’s funny to send a picture of me and say “slut” or “does your boyfriend know you’re a whore”? You may wonder why I have my social media site and haven’t shut it down…it’s because I refuse to let this people run my life and scare me into a corner. Every time I get an offensive message I now RESPOND and tell them what really happened to me, that I am not the things they think I am, and to be more open-minded in the future to where the pictures they are viewing really came from. No you are not looking at “amateur porn”…you are looking at content that has been stolen and posted without the (most of the time) female’s consent. It crossed my mind that these slimy, awful individuals who actually have the time to search you and contact you are worth NOTHING and are clearly too stupid to see that the “porn” they are looking at is a complete lie. The only thing you can do is remember you are not alone and that no matter what, your life is going to be better and more fulfilling than these bottom sucker’s lives who actually still believe women are whores. I hope that helps.