Voices of Victims: Speak Out And End Revenge Porn

Voices of Victims is a series of anonymous submissions by victims of revenge porn. The post below has been lightly copy-edited but otherwise reads exactly as submitted. Remember: You are not alone.

 

Almost seven years ago, I left my abusive fiancé. He’d been taking explicit photos and videos of me, and sharing them without my permission already, using them as blackmail to force various sex acts from me that I was not comfortable with, while pretending to be a “hacker.” He was attending West Point at the time, and he said he could get expelled if they were revealed, so I did everything, despite my discomfort. Until one day I said no, and he raped me instead, claiming to not remember it after the fact.

 

But when I got up the courage and left, he released all of my photos and videos to porn sites and several classmates’ emails, despite the fact that I’d been under eighteen at the time of their taking (and below the age of consent in NY for some of them, at sixteen). As well as that, he released my phone number and address and email, pretending to be me, and I received phone calls and emails from strange men who wanted to visit me. I had to ask several websites to take down nude pictures of me, and received no response from many of them. And on top of everything else, he continued to contact me for years through his various girlfriends who claimed he wanted to repent. It’s been three years since he last contacted me, but I never know if he’ll do it again someday.

 

My pictures have been lost to the ether, and I cannot find them via search, but who knows if they’re still out there, and I never know if there are people in the world who think that I sent them photos while he was pretending to be me, who can track me down with my name and find me and my family like my ex has before. I’ve been humiliated; I’m scared to make contact online (which is important, as I’m an online-publishing author), I have relationship issues with my husband because of this. I still have nightmares about it. I’m still ashamed. I wish I could erase this from my past, and I wish there were a way to help others going through it. So if I can, I want to, and if that’s by speaking, then so be it.

If you’re a victim of revenge porn you can contact our victim advocates here.

  • Christine

    I lived that exact life and I feel the same way as you do/have. I have not been with anyone since my ex boyfriend and I am often terrified of this fact after what has happened to me, although I am assured that someday it will be ok. How do you make this ok? As far as him trying to repent and contact you, do not ever speak to him again for your own sanity. Focus on you new life and husband. If one of his new girlfriends tries to contact you again, tell him he should be counting his lucky stars he isn’t in jail for raping you and that he has caused you enough harm. His actions are totally selfish. Your life is with someone else now. I wish you the best.

  • Dixie Lee Howe

    Thank you brave woman for sharing your story! Now you’ve opened a door for another person to release some of the pain and feel some comfort. You’ve allowed someone else whose experienced the same ugly crime and didn’t deserve it, to start the healing process.

    Thank you. You are not alone. Have faith.

  • Dixie Lee Howe

    Just read article on IBTimes by Lydia Smith – good to see attention about the damage of Revenge Porn starting in UK. Good to read about AnnMari Chiarini and her efforts to get legislation passed in Maryland Good for you AnnMari!

    I feel/felt a connection to both AnnMari and Holly because I too, felt such sorrow and pain and isolation. The more your story or “voice” appears in various articles or media about your experience, as in this one, the more others who were harmed the same way, will feel safe enough to tell their stories, and, also, hopefully become advocates like the rest of us. Your courage, efforts are paying off. Thank you!

  • Vickie

    Ok, but i dont see anything about people doing this to some one who had a video on a porn website. i dont think its right for someone to take a video you did off of a website, and send it to your whole family hiding behind a computer screen. But when you call the police, you they cant do anything because you signed a paper or something, giving rights to the website. I think this is also revenge porn and this is wrong and should be criminalize also. Thanks

  • SunShine McWane

    I can only imagine what you have been thru. I once had an ex boyfriend film me while we were having sex and I didnt know it. When I picked up his cell phone and it was recording, he tried to lie his way out of it, then got “upset” I didnt want to continue having sex with him. I know this is only a fraction of what you have been thru but it made me so mad and everytime I think about it I still get so mad. It makes me so enraged that some men think this is OK and can get away with this type of behavior. This is totally sexual abuse and yet people act like they are not aware of it? And yes the internet is kind of a terrifying place, where cites can tell you they “deleted all images of you” but yet later on they turn up on other sites. I have been thru tramatic stuff and had reoccuring nightmares afterwards so I know how horrible that be, some terrible thing you cant get away from no matter how hard you try because it invades your sleep. I also read people’s stories like this, however, and I always feel in awe of the person that went thru something like this because I think, “wow you are such a strong person to go thru all this and then have the courage to tell your story” I truely admire people like you. And I hope people can find a way to prosecute prepatrators like this.

  • Thank you for sharing your story. You are incredibly brave. Every person who stands up and fights sends the message that we are not going to take this lying down. We didn’t ask for it, we didn’t deserve it, and we certainly aren’t going to just allow these hideous outlets to exist. This topic has cost us the lives of young girls. I pray no more leave us behind this despicable source utilized to harass, defame, humiliate, and cyber rape.

  • Mia

    When I broke off an engagement with my ex, he was so angry. He had taken videos of us having sex on his iPhone while we were together. I hadn’t had a problem with it at the time, and didn’t until the threats began. He threatened to not only send out the videos to friends and family, which would have been terrible and humiliating, but also declared he would post them on social media and submit to porn sites. I was devastated, afraid, and furious. The fact that there are no legal implications in place for prosecuting this type of blatant sexual harassment is outrageous. I am so impressed by the #endrevengeporn movement and really applaud everyone fighting for the cause.

  • I am going through similar situation as my ex has leaked my pictures over social media and pretending to be me on that blog. I broke up with him thinking we were both good but he was just a sadist psychopath you couldn’t help himself from ruining my life. I have requested the website (tumblr) to take them down but got no response whatsoever, I hope they just vanish somehow cause every time I look it up on Google. They’re there. And it feels like crap.