If you have been using whatsapp or face book for a while, you have seen a message doing the rounds with instructions on how to spot a two way mirror in washrooms and trial rooms for ladies. The message was generated as there might be hidden cameras or recording devices in public restrooms. These videos are later edited and sold.
An entire industry runs on these multimedia files. This genre is called revenge porn. Although the term ‘revenge porn’ was initially used to denote personal videos or images that were leaked in rage emerging from rejection or heart break. It is defined as sharing of explicit or intimate pictures/videos without one’s consent and hence covers a broad spectrum. The preposterous phenomenon has also inspired works in bollywood like Dev-d Ragini MMS and Love Sex aur Dhokha, which portrayed the moral degradation in real life on reel.
In a few cases the recording of such incidents was consensual but their publication was not! Couples might record such videos to capture private moments but they take devastating turn once the relationship is over. One out of 10 ex partners have intimidated their ex with threats of leaking their private moments online. Even if you send the pictures with free will you have complete right over who sees it.
Motels see side income sources in such offences and install spy cams in rooms handed over to couples. They record videos and auction them in the ‘A’ market. They even ask for money from those who rented the room for not leaking the footage and this leads to a series of blackmailing events.
Revenge porn is a form of emotional and sexual abuse; also violation of right to privacy and cyber civil rights. This leaves the victim in a pit of depression bombarded with suicidal thoughts and already kills them from the inside.
So, here is a message for all those who have been subjected to this outrageous act:
You might feel that this is the end of the world, but let me tell you that your life is much greater to be ruined by a .jpg file, that too a photograph was taken and leaked without your consent. Most importantly you need to speak up. Chances are that years later you stumble upon a mug shot of your perpetrator who has been charged of molestation or sexual assault. In that moment you would wonder that if you had reported him earlier you could have saved one girl who will now suffer from the trauma as you did. If you never want this thought to cross your mind, talk it out, encourage dialogue and name your offender.
More than 65% of the revenge porn cases go unreported and thus the stats online only touch the tipoff the iceberg.
The immediate concern is always driven to taking the content off the online platform no matter how crucial it is to prove the offence. It is indeed important to stop the damage but more energy should be vested in collecting evidence of the crime. I know there is no state of mind to think so rationally at that point when the sky has fallen upon you, but getting rid of it and then forgetting it is like covering up for that morally rotten person who did it and don’t you think he deserves to pay for his act. You don’t have to perform the walk of atonement, your perpetrator has to he is the one who has put himself to shame.
Nobody, NOBODY has the right to exploit a woman for revenge, monetary of psychological gains. I know you might feel alone but remember every eighth woman around you has been going through this agony and has been threatened by some jerk and if don’t do anything about it you will find more. Incase you are scared to directly report to the police station you can take help of organisations like women against revenge porn or online helpers at http://www.EndRevengePorn.org
Women also reported that they were staked and harassed by the persons who saw their material. This gets us to the question ” where are we going as a society?” this type of content goes viral so easily because we decide to share it. It doesn’t take a minute to post or share the video but what it does is it earns revenue to the person who has uploaded it, inserts it in a never ending web which makes it viral and exploits the innocent soul. Instead what you should do is report it. Google, twitter, face book have resolved to end revenge porn. Also, many adult websites host an option to report revenge porn so that it can be pulled off.
Revenge porn is violence and silence is its best concealer.