Whilst reflecting on the last 6 years, how far I have come and how the term ‘revenge porn’ has tainted mine and many others who have experienced this form of ‘new age technology abuse’. Our strive as experiencers to ‘heal from the trauma’ of intentional deception of former partners or worse unknown others, it is apparent now more than ever that the term ‘revenge porn’ does not fit the crime and seriously points a finger to experiencers, ultimately negating the effects of the intent of the perpetrator to cause distress and harm.
Revenge – The action of hurting or harming someone in return for an injury or wrong suffered at their hands.
Pornography – Printed or visual material containing the explicit description or display of sexual organs or activity intended to stimulate sexual excitement.
So by continuing to use the term ‘revenge pornography’ it is stating that the perpetrator felt the need to intentionally share without consent sexually explicit content because they were wronged and shared the content intentionally to stimulate sexual excitement? One has to ask – did they share for their sexual excitement or to arouse others to be excited sexually or both?
Either way the term only promotes public scrutiny, finger pointing/blaming and the undoubted questioning of ‘what you may have done to provoke such a heinous, callous and cruel act’.
One experiencer that I have supported said:
The term ‘revenge porn’ is one of the things that upsets her a lot as it instantly makes victims feel seedy, when sometimes the photos may not be. It has caused me to have panic attacks.
Just like this experiencer I also found the term very onerous, especially when questioned by someone as to what happened or explaining what the term means. It is definitely a horrible feeling that leaves a huge stigma on your mental health from a personal perspective. You go through stages of painful self blaming, you are disgusted at how you managed to allow this to happen to you and constantly beat yourself up by telling yourself how could you be so stupid.
Image Based Sexual Abuse is like online rape and by rape I refer to the acronym:
Repetitively And Purposely Exposed
The intention of the perpetrator is to cause harm not only by them but by others. I recollect reading the numerous ‘splurtacion of vileness’ when I came across the porn site that my ex uploaded my photographs to. Yep! Porn Hub was one of those sites. I felt sick to my stomach how people who didn’t know me had described how and what they wanted to do to me in such a sexually explicit way – I felt repeatedly sexually exploited, exposed and violated.
It is important NOW more than ever that we remove the stigma of ‘REVENGE’ and ‘PORN’ as the crime is simply ABUSE USING SEXUAL IMAGES. We must now refer to what it is IMAGE BASED SEXUAL ABUSE (IBSA). All those who provide support to experiencer’s should remove the negative connotation going forward and acknowledge the crime for what it is.
It all helps to ‘change the narrative’ and change is needed NOW.