I Am Not Yours To Share | Revenge Porn*

15 July 2017


Hello!

A year or so ago, there was a huge drama in my home town. Somebody was taking random girls' pictures and posting them onto a revenge porn website. I was lucky that I wasn't one of them, but by me saying this, you'd assume that they were indecent images and so that 'they deserved it'. Well, the original pictures weren't, and regardless of that, they didn't deserve it.

You see, revenge porn can take numerous different forms, such as photo manipulation, but the most common one is by leaking people's 'nude's and videos that they sent to their friend, partner, etc in confidence. Which is wrong, and a massive breach of trust.


We all know about the latest scandal throughout all of this with Rob Kardashian leaking Blac Chynas videos, supposedly sent by her to him, on Instagram, as well as bashing her on Twitter. While this may be a form of entertainment for the masses, it's also incredibly invasive, and the more his actions are justified, the more normalised this behaviour becomes. And that's not right.

78% of the Scottish adult population (ages 18+) believe that it should be illegal to share an intimate picture that's been sent to somebody, with this rising to 82% who believe it should be illegal for someone to share an intimate picture taken of their partner, and in fact, as of the 3rd of July this year, the law has been changed so that it's now easier to prosecute anyone who is caught sharing, or threatening to share these images without consent. Anyone who is prosecuted under the new offense of the 'Abusive Behaviour or Sexual Harm (Scotland) Act 2016' can face up to 5 years imprisonment.



I think what's important to remember is that when you share a photograph of this nature, you forget that the other person is a human being, with very real feelings. Victims have been known to suffer from serious mental illnesses, such as anxiety, self harm and even leading to suicide. We may think that 13 Reasons Why is just a form of entertainment, but think about how normalised they made it appear for a simple picture of Hannah coming down a slide, which showed her underwear, to be sent around her school. Think about just the short term impact it had on her there and then as she suffered anxiety and depression over something as small as a picture. Then realise that this happens every day, and the feelings are not faced by a fictional character, they are real.


I think we all forget how much we rely on our phones, and other technology, and that we forget that the other side isn't another automated machine. That when we read a text, somebody has had a thought process behind it and typed the words. That when we see a post on Facebook or Instagram, the person is going through a real experience. And that when someone sends an intimate picture, they have trust in you not to re-distribute that image.

The Scottish government's campaign to highlight this change in the law will be running over the next couple of weeks, so you may have seen some of the imagery or video footage for this campaign already. The campaign is in collaboration with Scottish Women's Aid, Rape Crisis Scotland, Zero Tolerance, Police Scotland and the Crown Office.

There is no excuse for this breach of trust, there is no excuse for revenge porn, and remember that this is a genderless crime which impact anyone, regardless of gender identity - It's a crime that's all about having control, seeking opportunities to maniplate and abuse, We need to work together to show that we won't tolerate it.

This is a Scottish Government campaign, but there will be local laws against this near you, too. For more information on this campaign, check out this website: http://notyourstoshare.scot/


Below are a few useful links and phone numbers which I've taken from the campaign website:
Scottish Women's Aid
The National Domestic Abuse & Forced Marriage Helpline Scotland - 0800 027 1234
Rape Crisis Scotland - 08088 01 03 02
Abused Men In Scotland - 0808 800 0024
Victim Support Scotland - 0345 603 9213
LGBT Youth - 0131 555 3940

I know that today has been a really serious post, but it is something I view as being deeply imporant to spread the message of.

Until next time, be excellent to each other.


*I've written this post in collaboration with the Not Yours To Share Campaign. This post has been written because it's a cause I see a lot of value of sharing and supporting. This post is not a paid advertisement.