Dear OHN: I am a victim of revenge porn

blog_img_Dear_ohn

We_Can_Do_ItERPI write this anonymously because…it’s the only way I can feel somewhat safe now. And my friend/therapist (a legit therapist) suggested I get my feelings out somewhere so I don’t lose my mind.

I’ve been a long time reader here/occasional commenter and although I know this site is for giggles and laughter, occasionally a serious post comes along and we as a community are able to have an open dialogue.

Many people talk about revenge porn; I remember this being a topic here maybe a few years ago. We can only talk about it as outsiders and I’d like to give you the perspective/turmoil of an insider.

I am a victim of revenge porn.

I don’t even know if we can call it revenge porn because from what I know, he and I weren’t in a bad place when he uploaded a video I was unaware was taken. In fact, we talked a few weeks before I found out video was taken of an intimate act, let alone uploaded.

About a week ago, I was visiting a friend. At the end of said visit and as I was getting ready to go, he said “hey. I wanted to show you something that I saw.” He then shows me his phone and a blindfolded image of my face pops up. Before he could push play my heart, body, soul and tears immediately hit the floor. I knew when, where and who this happened with – I just didn’t know I was being recorded. I don’t remember much after that – I think I wailed on the floor for at least 30 minutes. I remember finally getting my bearings and my friend was holding me, rocking with me. He helped me up and led me to my car because I remember repeating that I needed to go. I sat in my car in front of his house so long that he came back out a few times to ask me if I was okay. I managed to get home and unleashed a new torrent of tears into my pillow. A whole host of emotions from anger to betrayal, pain to embarrassment coursed through my body and still does as the incident is still raw.

I tried to find the video online but my friend told me that he saw it at least two months ago and was trying to figure out a way to tell me. I’m angry at him for not saving the link so I could have it taken down. I tried to search the website he found it on, but after looking at 300 pages and at least 4 categories, I couldn’t find it. One side says “if you can’t find it that means no one else will find it”. Another side says “He found it…someone else can too”.

I’ve thought about suing but there are only 2 states in the US that make revenge porn an actual felony – California and New Jersey; unfortunately I live in neither state. I’ve thought about taking it to civil court but – it would be a matter of public record. I could lose my job over it and companies are not willing to hire anyone that has been in court over situations like mine…regardless of whether you’re the victim or not. And not being able to find the link hurts my case even if I wanted to pursue it. Additionally, as courts involving claims of sexual misconduct of any type VERY OFTEN tend to go…it would evolve from prosecuting him into slut-shaming me in the court of law as well as the court of public opinion. Even if I were to win, I’d still be a loser. My name would be dragged through the mud and muck. It would be bombed, tarred, feathered, stoned and executed by firing squad as they dug up anyone I may have even unintentionally flirted with to say “she knew what she was doing! She knew what was going on! Listen to how Random Stranger A says she blinked at him in the bar all sexy like!” I can’t go through that and I don’t want my family subjected to the scrutiny. So, I am left here.

My life as it stands is currently in emotional shambles and I am actively seeking a therapist with no emotional attachment to me to help me deal. I live in fear that every notification I receive on my phone is someone telling me that they saw it. I’m scared of running into him in a public place because I don’t know how I will act because I dream of committing violent acts against him. I have dreamed of showing up at his home with a metal bat, beating him senseless and watching the blood pool. And that scares me because my nature is very non-violent or malicious. But I have also been betrayed and violated to my core; I deserve justice that I will never get. And the two sides are literally warring inside of me, threatening to tear me apart.

I don’t want your sympathy as I’ve made a vow to myself that I will get through this. In this age of social media vengeance, a lot of people (men and women alike) are very quick to post videos/photos/text messages of private activities, thoughts when they are jilted even for a second. I only ask that should you hear any of your comrades thinking of posting anything private involving another person that you ask them to really think of the consequences they risk putting themselves in – public lawsuits, loss of employment, public embarrassment. Also let them know of the havoc they can put in the life of the other party – loss of freedom, privacy and trust. And these things are things that may never come back.

Bef here….I don’t know what to say. You definitely will get through this. Getting with a therapist is truly the best thing to do.

OHN’ers what say you.

Bethlanai
Apparently it is Beth's Job to get on Slaus's nerves.
Bethlanai

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  • Lo Kei

    Ok I read through the above.

    First let me say I am so sorry for what you are going through. It’s unfair and it sucks. But we really need to start the healing and dealing process.

    First, if it’s not hitting on every porn site/blog then damage control is an option. You could not readily find the vid and no one else will find it if they are looking for that specific vid. I do not want to give too much detail incase the asshole that did it will read this post. Your employer will not easily find it. I know it’s like waiting for the other shoe to drop. But it wont come. I think you said your face was blacked out? An average person will not know its you. Fully deniability is an option if it comes up since the evidence is not 100%. But I wager it will not come up very often if it’s was several months before anyone mentioned it.

    You just have to deal with it yourself internally. Get the help you need. It will get easier. Do not admit to anything if it ever comes up. It wasn’t you. But I wager it will not be often.

    My prayers to you and your speedy recovery from this.

    • Omelette!

      Lo has a practical point. I don’t think this is a conversation you’ll be having frequently and if it arises, you can deny everything, all of it. Stare them down. If you are blindfolded throughout that will be perfectly possible, whatever identifiable elements there are. It’ll just flounder in the ocean of smut which expands exponentially every day. The alternative is that you own the vid if questioned or identified, shame him with the truth of its publication in as wide an arena as you can, and take back control. May get ugly but fights are. It’s not only a matter of your reputation, how about his? Did he think of that? If you find yourself outed publicly on this matter, disturbing though it may be, then you really have nothing to lose in shaming him and that very process may be a way to reclaim your dignity when you feel it is most under assault. It’s not an easy option, but attack can be the best defence. Public shaming is a tough one to deal with, it can shake your foundation, but look at how many women around the world have to fight that battle on so many fronts without the choice of any discretion. Loss of reputation for a man can be equally devastating. Just don’t fight alone. You have done nothing illegal or shameful here, you are blameless. I would find out about the lobbying and activist groups on these issues, they must exist and they must include professional counsel, contact them, cultivate relationships with them; find a way to make this a respectable cause which needs opposition, align yourself with allies of good standing, arm yourself so that it’s not you alone, because should you need to pull that metaphorical pistol, you better be prepared to fire it. Put these things in place if they suit you, make it a bigger fight, be prepared, and let your dignity be your armour if you have to go to war. If it’s public knowledge you can’t do anything about the fact but you can interpret how it’s read by others.

      • notconvincedgranny

        Co-sign all of that. Taking ownership can go a long way toward diffusing his perceived power and taking back your own. And I’m certain he did not take into account the potential for devastation in his own life, particularly his professional life, if he is publicly exposed for the sleaze he is.

  • SY

    I am sincerely sorry that happened to you. And I understand about not wanting to go thru the drama. There are honestly no words. But I commend you highly for taking the time to go to find a therapist, and work it out before it destroyed you. You will survive, and will be stronger for it.

  • iamtmonie

    A member of this community works in the porn industry. I imagine she can give you some valuable insight.

  • http://www.judychartrand.com creegal

    Not to sound callous…but this too shall pass. The idiot who recorded you both together is just that…and even worse for posting it online. Sorry you had to experience this, but it happens, I think fairly frequently, so please don’t beat yourself up over this…you didn’t do anything wrong here!

  • Chidiva

    First Off,Let me give you a hug.I work in the industry,So I see this type of thing everyday,Vid and photos that are taken that people unknowingly participate in.Depending on what state you live in,sadly,there’s not too much you can do unless you can prove that you had no idea you were being filmed or that you were forced to partake in it against your will.If you were underage,or fall under the definition of being a”vulnerable individual”,Then you’d have an easier and more discreet way of getting the video taken down.Legally,If I come across and images ”I” deem weren’t obtained with consent,I report them to my Clients and they get sent to the FBI.There’s a footprint for all material uploaded to the internet,If someone you know has seen it,I’m 100% sure it’s still out there and really the only way to make sure you get it back is to,I hate to say this,but go the legal route to have it taken off whatever site it’s uploaded to.But,I can say with certainty that even if it is deleted from the server,it’s still floating around the internet somewhere either by a private upload site(most likely overseas) or in someone’s private collection.I’m sorry I don’t have better news for you but feel free to reach out to me and If you want I can tap into my resources and see If I can locate it and make it vanish.

  • http://dontshootmessenger.blogspot.com/ JediReturns

    I can’t tell you how sorry I am that you were assaulted that way. For several reasons, I consider what happened to you a form of sex trafficking. I hate that it happened, but I sincerely thank you for how you ended your letter. Your story and advice may help others. You were blindsided, butany women/men willingl participate in video sessions that come back to haunt them. You can’t always trust people unless they have as much to lose as you do when things go south. So thank you for being powerful enough to be concerned for others.

    Counseling will help. You also have to decide that you will not live in fear of being “found out”. If you are so worried that people will define you by that one moment in time you may end up doing it yourself. I can’t say mo one else will find out, but if they do don’t let the truth imprison you, let it set you free. Besides her talent, I adore Vanassa Williams for her strength in rising above her situation when it was done to her. Let her be your role model of not letting her moment define her, but instead relegating it to a footnote in her history as it should be. Much love to you.

    Last word. Any brother that does this is the scum of the earth. If revenge sends you down this road you’ve already lost your humanity, so just kill yourself.

    • Omelette!

      Yes, it’s sexual abuse, plain and simple.

    • notconvincedgranny

      You deserve being pulled into an ample bosom and hugged until you beg for breath.

      • http://dontshootmessenger.blogspot.com/ JediReturns

        That would make my day! Do you know where I could find an available aple bossom?

  • Dantri

    My heart definitely goes out to you. As a member of the mental health community, I too applaud you for seeking help in this matter. Many times people are not willing to go to counseling or to a psychiatrist because somewhere in their head, only “crazy” people see those kind of professionals. But unprocessed feelings of anger, etc are more damaging left bottled inside. You could not only be harming yourself but potentially lash out at the one who’s caused all of this pain.
    As a member of the law enforcement community, I wish there was more that could be done to this mofo. I’m not sure where you live, but this has me heading downstairs right now to our D.A.’s asking what if any recourse someone has in your situation. If there’s not much, then maybe they should start scribbling with their pens to ink some new laws and consequences for actions like these.
    Sending prayers up for your healing..

  • Virtual_Virgo

    I am so sorry that this happened to you. I am glad that you are seeking help. Please don’t worry about “what if” with every text and email. Whatever happens will happen, and there is nothing you can do unless it does happen. I know that it sounds a little too simplified, but with time you will get there. Stressing about it won’t do anything but take down your health. I pray that you will find peace soon, and that someone will help you find you way through this.

  • http://www.bsmuv.com BSmuv

    My heart goes out to you and I hope you will be able to heal and overcome this event in your life.

    P.S. If you need a brother to dress in all black and be on the jump out crew for you on the person that did this, let me know. I will bring my own duck tape, phonebook and baseball bat.