“Sometimes you just mess with the wrong girl”- My first-hand account as a revenge porn victim

By Olivia Mouter


Revenge Porn. It’s something that happens remarkably often, but not something you often hear about.


By definition, revenge porn is “the sharing of private, sexual materials, either photos or videos, of another person, without their consent and with the purpose of causing embarrassment or distress.”


The offence applies to the sharing of such content both online and offline- ie: on the internet, sharing by text and e-mail, or showing someone a physical or electronic image.


More often than not, this sickening act is committed by someone you once trusted. But sometimes you just mess with the wrong girl, and this is my first-hand account of being a revenge porn victim via an anonymous website.


Just for a second, imagine your most private and intimate pictures being posted to a completely anonymous bulletin-like website.


Well, that was me, all of a sudden there for everyone to see, comment, and judge. What are anonymous image-based bulletin boards, you might ask. These platforms are controversial message boards which are completely anonymous. Their users are not required to create consistent identities and posts are not monitored or recorded. On these websites there are 'boards', like categories, which are filled with revenge porn, sectioned into countries, cities, towns, job roles, and/or appearance.


Imagine my horror and disgust, there I was- 'Olivia'. My full name, my previous job roles, my location, and all my social media names. I was listed on this website like a poor puppy needing to be re-homed. And by whom? 'Anonymous'.


In those moments the anxiety and fear instantly set in. You start to become suspicious of everyone you know, distrusting and feel purely HUNTED. I watched as the comments rolled in; discussing my body and previous sex life, asking for more information and begging for more photos.


My first move was to change all my social media names and delete anyone I did not consider a close friend or family member. I needed away from the attention this was drawing, but they knew that too. Comments were uploaded 'I can see she's deleted some of her photos' and 'it is only going to make people want to see her more'. I have never felt so objectified. A piece of meat for their enjoyment.


Being anonymous on these sites comes with its own issues. I didn't know who posted it and I didn't know who or how many people were commenting. I assumed someone close to me, but I could never be sure. What’s more, these websites are proud of their anonymity and the protection of the posters is paramount. But what about us? The women, pages and pages of them, who’s lives have suddenly changed.


(Image via SWGfl)



All of these issues make the seeking of justice incredibly difficult, with the anonymous nature making it near impossible to find a 'prime suspect'. I racked my brain and gave names of any people I suspected, but there is still no way to concretely prove who it was posted by or who the comments were coming from.


What’s worse, when going to the police about my situation I was told "websites like these are an absolute headache to deal with" and they cannot go on a 'wild goose chase' of people I suspect. Essentially, there's just not any legislation to protect me or the others like me. There is no proof and this remains an evidence-less and non convicted crime.


In 2020 alone, the Revenge Porn Helpline has received over 2,000 reports of non-consensual pornography, a 22 per cent rise from last year with 2/3 of cases involving women.


I wasn’t the first and I unfortunately won’t be the last person to be affected by revenge porn or the lack of support in place to seek justice for our suffering.


This was something I couldn't stop thinking about, so I took action. I set up my ‘No More Club’ campaign and started a parliamentary petition demanding change. I've also written to several MP's asking for them to review the laws that are evidently outdated.


I want protection for the victims, NOT the perpetrators. How dare they bare all of us for everyone to see, hiding themselves behind their anonymous website!

No More!


To aid in the cause and support the change needed, please sign the petition below:

https://petition.parliament.uk/petitions/549269


If you have been a victim of revenge porn and are seeking help, please visit https://revengepornhelpline.org.uk/