Your Stories

I’m a victim – I’m sharing my story to help others too – !!Trigger Warning!! (Anonymous)

In 2019 I met someone on Tinder.

We dated for 3 months but towards the end o the relationship he became very distant and rude at times towards me. It then ended quite badly with him sending nasty messages over WhatsApp that I was a fat dirty slut and that I was only good enough to be raped.

A few months went by and I was then contacted by a friend of his to say pictures I had sent to him during our relationship had been shared to a website without my consent with the purposes of selling me for sex to other men also without my consent. I also found out he had made a fake tinder account in my name from work colleagues.

I couldn’t go to the police as he had a young daughter and I didn’t want her to see her father as a monster. I also live in Northern Ireland he lives in the Republic of Ireland so if I had of chosen to prosecute it would have been me named as the victim and not him under Irish law.

I couldn’t face the shame of everyone knowing.

I spent over a year living in constant fear, at times I walked with my keys in my fists. There were times I couldn’t even leave the house. I also became extremely depressed during this time. I tend to relapse from time to time as I feel like I’m not good enough. I’ve turned a lot to comfort eating and have gained 3 stone. I feel like I’m trapped in a body that’s no longer my own. I hate having to look at or dress and undress myself. Even things like getting my hair cut leave me not wanting to look at the person staring back at me.

I tend to have a few good weeks at a time, then something will happen that will trigger me and then I’ll end up back to the start of my trauma. Recently it got so bad in October that I considered taking my own life – sharing my story has helped, reaching out to VOIC has been a godsend and I am still here to be able to share this story.

The Road to Recovery – by Sarah (Victim Survivor)

Sarah made contact with me back in 2019, a few years ago now and I have been supporting her ever since by being that source of non-judgmental advice, the listening ear and that support of encouragement to continue. It’s hard to imagine now that Sarah was very much at the beginning of her journey. It has been so important to me to  have had the opportunity to help Sarah, as this has very much helped ‘my own personal journey to recovery’. Sarah shares her personal account of her journey below – I am humbled! At the end of her piece I have inserted a link to the documentary Sarah took part in – where she shares her story publicly to raise awareness.

How could this happen to me…a question I have asked myself many times over the past 3 years. I was a normal girl, leading a normal life, never did I think I would wear the label of victim. Never did I think I would have CID detectives visiting me at home. Never did I think I would set foot in a court room.

Aged 28 I was happily living my life, bubbly, confident, great job, engaged to be married, a beautiful son, the perfect house. From the outside I had a life many would dream of. But behind closed doors things were much darker. Every inch of my life was controlled by him, my clothes, my spare time, my relationship with family and friends. “Why didn’t you just leave” people asked, but only those who have ever been in the grips of a narcissistic sociopath would understand…I wasn’t allowed to leave. Whenever I tried, I was manipulated to return. In reality I was terrified to leave. He made me believe my life wasn’t worth living if it wasn’t with him. I was nothing without him.

But one day enough was enough. I had to go and no-one could have foreseen what the next few months would bring.

For the first few weeks I was still in his grips, I didn’t stay strong during the breakup so one evening he had persuaded me to spend one last night together. The final goodbye. And I agreed. “Why” people asked…well I was feeling empty, lonely, broken and needed to feel close to someone, and he had been the man I was about to marry. Continue reading The Road to Recovery – by Sarah (Victim Survivor)

Love Death & Taxes – Image Based Sexual Abuse Within the LGBTQ Community by David Canham

It’s been 4 weeks since the 23rd October, and 4 weeks on I’m slowly beginning to realise just how important that date was…both in a deeply personal way, and in the representation of male IBSA experiencers – whether gay or straight.

Predominately this was an evening to raise awareness about Image Based Sexual Abuse within the LGBTQ community, but it was also about taking those first important steps towards unshackling myself from the humiliation and shame that an IBSA crime bestowed on my life, 3 years ago.

It was about speaking a truth, my truth, and in so doing decreasing the power that experience had over me.

Ultimately that’s what these crimes are all about, the power that the perpetrator(s) have over you….by the way of intentional public shaming. But once you begin to acknowledge, and find a way to ‘own your truth’, that power is diminished. My recovery journey is far from complete, but I will say this, the 23rd October now feels like a truly pivotal turning point in my life. A game changer if you will.

For those of you that have followed my journey, through social media or otherwise, you will know how much this issue means to me – it is truly close it is to my heart – particularly in terms of IBSA representation within the gay community. At the beginning of this year, I challenged myself to fight my fears and speak out. The fight against Image Based Sexual Abuse crimes cannot be won on words alone, and neither could I successfully participate in that battle without being able to vocally speak out.

When I was asked to participate as a member of the panel, I knew instantly that I would regret it for the rest of my life if I didn’t. Despite my fears about speaking publicly, I surprised myself. There was so much that I wanted to say, perhaps there were things that I wanted to say…and didn’t. I have no regrets, only excitement for the future….and what could be achieved in establishing better recognition for both current and future victims of IBSA (Revenge Porn). These crimes are here to stay, and they are developing and adapting. They are destroying more lives on a daily basis and we desperately need change to happen now.

My Story Joins Your Story – Let’s Change the Game Forever Together – David Canham

As I begin to write this, I’m exactly 4 weeks away from the anniversary date of a premeditated internet revenge act, an act that was targeted toward me by a group of sick individuals – who felt they had the right to expose personal aspects of what was then a deeply troubled life.

What started off as a ‘chemsex hook up’ turned into a hellish nightmare, that still affects my life today and has taken close to 4 years to recover from.  Both the recovery and rebuilding processes are still ongoing, and as part of that process I’ve decided to write my story for VOIC. This is the first time that I’ve publicly spoken out about that incident, and whilst I understand more about it now, I know that the journey has only just begun and further difficult times and discoveries await.

In retrospect I wish I had listened to that voice inside my head, that was trying to scream “get the hell out of there” but I wanted to lose myself in a world of meaningless sex and escape the hurt and pain that I felt at the time. I had lost my sense of self preservation, respect and survival.

To put my story into context, and for the first time in my life, I need to take ownership of an addiction to Crystal Meth.  An addiction that developed over a number of years on the gay party circuit. There were times when I naively thought that I had it under control, some of those times were during an 8-year relationship. For those times where I failed, life for my partner would have been tough to say the least, and as I look back over those years I take a personal responsibility for the pain that was endured. You must be ready to admit an addiction issue, and whilst I was hugely ashamed of it, I couldn’t bring myself to look at it closely enough in order to change it.

I was unaware that, during our turbulent time together, my partner was betraying my trust and indiscreetly going to pre-arranged sex parties – predominately but not limited to South London, where we spent a number of years living together. We both had interests in the gay fetish scene, which is how our relationship started. Over time, and through his own selfish wants and desires, my private struggles with Meth addiction were becoming widely known to people within that community. He was effectively using my issues, as an excuse for his own behaviour.

Several things are important here, the perpetrators who were involved in my ‘chemsex setup’ knew exactly who I was…. they also knew (through prior sexual interaction) my ex-partner. They had heard his stories, and thought it was time “someone taught me a lesson”.

For the want of a better phrase, they had appointed themselves as both ‘judge and juror’. At no point did they stop to consider the effect their actions would have on my life, career or family. Their minds were and are, too sick and warped, to even have a basic notion or care.

Their aim then was to webcam stream (without my knowledge or consent) an act of drug taking called ‘slamming’. A crude term for IV injection, used within the gay party scene. That aim was achieved in a flat in North London during 2016. Within minutes and seconds, it was streamed across a hardcore gay website, notoriously known for the darker side of fetish sex. Continue reading My Story Joins Your Story – Let’s Change the Game Forever Together – David Canham

Naked Selfies Are Everywhere – By Lauren

lauren“Kim K posted them and got both praise and critique, starting a huge feminist debate that hung around the internet for several days. Chelsea Handler posted one to celebrate Reese Witherspoon’s birthday. It seems to be a accepted to be naked on the internet”.

Unless that decision was made by somebody else for you. Unless that picture was meant for one person’s eyes only. Unless that photo has been used against you.

In August 2015, I found out that I was a victim of what is most commonly known as ‘Revenge Porn’. If you’re not sure what it is let me introduce you to one of the worst corners of the internet; ‘Revenge Porn’ is the sharing and publicizing of images with the intention to embarrass. Most commonly it is the act of a former partner who sees fit to share your images that you never thought in your scariest nightmares would be shared.

My experience with it was not how the usual ‘Revenge Porn’ occurrence. I may have found out about it in 2015 but it had started 3 years prior. My friend had texted me a screenshot of a Twitter account with my pictures all over it – yet it was not mine. The account had several links in the bio for a lot of photo-driven social media websites, all with my first name and my personal photos. Not only did social media have my photos but also  some of the most disgusting porn sites I have ever seen. I was everywhere.

Going through the images was tough – I couldn’t bare to see anymore of them on anymore websites, but I had to keep going in order to gather evidence for my case officer.

Continue reading Naked Selfies Are Everywhere – By Lauren

Im a victim of Revenge Porn – Im 20 years old and thought this could never happen to me (Anonymous)

I recently became a victim of revenge porn. I felt as if my world came to an end.

Words cannot express how I feel right now.  I feel as if my life will never be the same, I cry every single day and ask God why it had to be me. I wouldn’t want anyone close to me to experience what I am experiencing. I cannot cope with the stress, it’s affecting my studies and work.

Sometimes I think it isn’t worth living, that’s how much it has affected me.

My Story is a bit strange but this is what happened. Last year June 2014 I logged onto my Facebook to find that pictures I had sent to my boyfriend at the time was posted on my wall,  but it was from his Facebook. I called him straight away and started crying, assuming the mother of his children had hacked into his email and posted the pics on my Facebook page.

My ex said he would sort it out I asked him for his Facebook and email password so I could delete the pics, which is what I did.  Nothing appeared or happened again after i had deleted the photos. Two  weeks ago the pictures had been sent to some of my Facebook contacts, I called my ex and told him what had happened. He informed me that it wasnt the mother of his kids that had posted the original photos but that it was another girl that became obsessed with him and was jealous of the love he had for me.

Continue reading Im a victim of Revenge Porn – Im 20 years old and thought this could never happen to me (Anonymous)

I watched you on crimewatch and wanted to share my story (Anonymous)

I watched you on crimewatch and thought that I would share my story with you.

I am a young man and sex is always my number one priority, for the last couple of years I have been involved in swinging, dogging and online dating so one day I thought I would have a go on a website called ‘Chat Roullette’ this girl added me and we started to talk and have web cam sex she then told me to add her on facebook,  within seconds she was telling me that she was going to send my sex act to all my friends on Facebook but if I pay her she said she would delete the video; she even sent me a link to youtube where the video was.

I froze for a couple of seconds and thought how stupid I was to fall for a stupid trick like this but as I said, before being involved in swinging there were already pics and videos of myself naked and having sex on the Internet. I told her to fuck off and jump in front of a train as I’m not paying and I sent her a link to the website where my pictures are.

Next think I know she has vanished from ‘Chat Roullette’ and Facebook I’m guessing the joke was on her for thinking I was going to be worried about it but I was a little annoyed at myself for falling for it. This happened in January and ever since clicking the link she sent me to my video on YouTube (which did appear) I thought there might be a virus; so ever since then I have a piece of blu tack over my webcam.

Im not sure this will help but I thought I would just share my story with you.

Concerned Boyfriend – Shares Story of Girlfriend Anonymously

I came across your site after my girlfriend of over 1 year had become a victim of revenge porn. This happened just over a month ago, she has since lost her job as a teacher and her life has been turned upside down.

The imagery posted is over 5 years old, this series of events has nearly brought our relationship to breaking point. I cannot even begin to imagine what my girlfriend is going through at the moment.

I’m trying everything I can to be as supportive as possible however I’m currently going through cancer treatment and having to come to terms with this isn’t easy. I’m sure no boyfriend would wish to see nude images of their partner with an ex, I feel now as though my girlfriend has lost her trust in me as we no longer have the same loving and fun relationship as we once had.

I dare not talk about this matter with my girlfriend as I can only imagine it will cause her distress.

My girlfriend is currently seeking legal help on this matter, I know this will be a slow process and I shouldn’t interfere but I want to support her as best as I can. I’ve never been in this situation with a girlfriend before and I’ve not told any of my friends or family about what has happened. Any advice on how to cope with this from a boyfriends point of view would be a great help.

Revenge Porn My Story and I’m from Asia – Anonymous

I would like to thank you for website. It’s like a beacon of light in the darkness.

I would like to share my story of a current ongoing revenge porn ordeal which is being caused by a UK citizen to me and I live in another country. I need to remain anonymous as I don’t live in the UK but I am currently illegally residing in the country where I now live.

I found out about you while doing a Google search about laws in the UK regarding revenge porn. I read the new article from the BBC about you. Unfortunately I couldn’t see the interview video as it wasn’t available in my country but I felt that somehow I have someone I can talk to.

My issues is still ongoing and I haven’t told a soul about my ordeal, accept the police. Not to my mother, my sister nor my current boyfriend. I feel very lonely, guilty and hopeless.

I met a guy from the UK about 9 or 10 years ago through a social media network. I was very stupid and naive at the time and started an online relationship that continued for a few
years. Along the way, a lot of things happened and our communication ended in 2012. I was happy that it ended.

In last year, he tried to contact me again, but I didn’t pick up his calls and didn’t even read his emails. Then, about 4 months back, I found my pictures on Tumblr. I contacted Tumblr to take down the images. Then I Googled his hometown’s police email address and have contacted them to help. It’s a complicated matter for them because I’m not from the UK. I don’t think he’s been investigated yet.

I don’t know if he’s still posting more pictures or not and I’m just too scared to Google my name and find out more.

Right now, I’m just trying very hard to be brave and keep myself together. Each waking moment is a pain to go through. The kind of pain that only a victim of this crime could understand.

The main thing I want to let you know that this issue is a global thing occurring across countries. Those awful people can still hurt victims no matter where they are.

This is something I wouldn’t wish upon even my worst enemy. So I want to prevent future victims from suffering the same fate as I. I’d like to help others as well, but I myself is doing not so good.

You’re the one who is making an impact. That is why I wrote to you. If you know more about the stories, more about how it can happen, I hope that somehow you will be able to help others more.

It’s too late for me but please don’t stop helping others. Thank you for your website and your bravery to stand up for those who are too afraid.

My Ex Set Up A Porn Site In My Name – Anonymus

My friend has informed me that my ex has set up a porn site in my name.

Porn SiteMy friend was at the time staying with my ex and has provided me with the registration details that my ex used to set up the site, along with the credit card details, the home address and email information that he also used.

I had to move away and my ex lives in a different city to me. After numerous phone calls to the police in the city where my ex lives and also phone calls to the police in the city where I now reside, I feel like I am going around in circles and I really don’t know what to do.

The police in the city where my ex lives has said that because I am no longer in the city they cannot take a statement and the police in the city where I currently live are adamant they are not responsible for taking the statement as no crime was committed here.

I am shocked and horrified that the police are so uninterested!