Victim of revenge porn recalls ex secretly filmed her and shared snaps

Revenge porn victim recalls how her ‘whole world crashed down’ after ex secretly filmed her and shared images with hundreds of people including her parents and work colleagues because she was going to break up with him

  • Sarah, from UK, appeared on BBC documentary Zara McDermott: Revenge Porn
  • Became victim of revenge porn when she tried to end her five year relationship
  • Boyfriend wanted to punish her and set phone up in bedroom and recorded them
  • Sent it to Sarah’s work colleagues, family members and ‘hundreds of people’ 
  • Pleaded guilty to hacking, stalking, revenge porn and sentenced to four years

A woman whose ex-boyfriend secretly filmed and distributed images of her as revenge after learning she was going to end their relationship has spoke of the ‘dark times’ during the two-hand-a-half year ordeal from hell. 

Sarah, whose surname was not disclosed, from the UK, appeared on new BBC documentary Zara McDermott: Revenge Porn, which was released on Tuesday, and revealed how the crime made her ‘whole world come crashing down.’

Opening up to former Love Island star Zara, 24, Sarah told how she became a victim of revenge porn when she tried to end her five-year relationship with her ex-boyfriend – who was photographed but not named. 

‘The first couple of years were fantastic – we were madly in love,’ Sarah explained. ‘It felt intense.’

But knowing she wanted to end the relationship, Sarah’s boyfriend set out to punish her.

Sarah, whose surname was not disclosed, appeared on new BBC documentary Zara McDermott: Revenge Porn and spoke about her revenge porn ordeal

Sarah became a victim of revenge porn when she tried to end her five year relationship with her then-boyfriend – who was pictured, but not named in the documentary (pictured)

Knowing she wanted to end the relationship, Sarah’s boyfriend set out to punish her and secretly set up a camera in the corner of the bedroom and recorded them – before sending it to her family and work colleagues

‘I didn’t stay strong through the whole breakup process, so we’d gone upstairs to spend one last night together,’ Sarah explained. ‘You want to be close to someone, you want it to feel like it always was. But it was a complete set up.’

She continued: ‘He’d set his phone up in the corner of the bedroom and recorded us. He’d sent it to my work colleagues, managers, my mum, dad, sister, my auntie, old friends, old work colleagues, his friends – hundreds of people.’

Sarah went on to say how she drove straight to the police station – but doesn’t even remember getting in the car.

I don’t remember getting to the police station,’ she said. ‘I don’t even remember sitting in that room now. My whole world had crashed down. It was just dark times that take your brain to places that nobody should go to.’

Speaking to Zara (pictured right), Sarah (left) told how her ‘whole world had crashed down’ following the ordeal

Sarah (pictured, left) told how during the ordeal, her dad (right) was undergoing treatment for cancer – which left him helpless to protect his daughter

‘You shouldn’t doubt about how you can wake up the next morning. You shouldn’t doubt how you can ever leave the house again. Nobody should ever be able to do that to another person – and that’s what he did.’

Zara added: ‘That’s scary that people can go to those kind of lengths and pre-meditated steps with a person in a relationship. This has affected her so much emotionally. 

‘The scars will always remain from what she’s gone through.’

WHAT IS REVENGE PORN? 

Revenge Porn – or Image-based sexual abuse – is the sharing of private, sexual materials of another person without their consent

Sharing with the purpose of causing embarrassment or distress to the individual pictured

The offence can be both on and offline and applies to electronically shared images or showing someone a physical image

Sarah’s ex-boyfriend pleaded guilty to hacking, stalking and revenge porn. 

‘I’m terrified thinking about seeing him and having to stand in the court room where he is – just bringing everything back up,’ said Sarah, the day before she was due to speak in court. 

Sarah also told how she would read a victim impact statement to the court, which the judge would take it into account before sentencing. 

Fighting back tears, she read: ‘It’s almost impossible to put into words the pain and suffering I’ve been through over the past two-and-a-half years.

‘The day I was told by a work colleague that intimate images of myself had been sent to my company inbox, my world came crashing down. 

‘The feeling of humiliation as a young woman, having my body made so public, was crushing.’

‘Even today I hate to see my body in the mirror. During this time, my dad was undergoing treatment for cancer – leaving him helpless to protect his daughter. The trauma this bought to us as a family was unforgivable.’ 

Zara explained how Sarah’s ex’s prison sentence could be anything from a few months to several years – and it was a nervous wait until the judge decided.

‘I’ve got some great, great news,’ Sarah said, following the verdict. ‘He was sentenced to four years in prison – and was taken away there and then. 

‘I can’t believe it. When I left the witness box, I felt strong, I felt like I’d made a stand. I felt like I’d shown him that I’m not scared of him anymore.’ 

Speaking of Sarah’s courage, Zara added: ‘The fact that she found this incredible inner strength. There is a definitive black and white with these kinds of crimes and situation and the fact of the matter is, revenge porn is a crime and you can go to prison for it.’ 

Sarah (pictured) spoke of feeling humiliated after after having her body made so public, adding that even today she ‘hates’ seeing her body in the mirror 

During the documentary, Love Island’s Zara McDermott also discussed her revenge porn hell. 

The documentary shed light on Zara’s two experiences with revenge porn, after explicit images were taken and leaked when she was both 14 and 21, with her boyfriend Sam Thompson admitting he thought she’d be ‘more clued up’ the second time. 

The reality star spoke to Made In Chelsea’s Sam, 28, on the show, as he revealed he had been sent the widely-circulated images while she was in the Love Island villa in 2018 – a year before they met. 

Zara has been shooting the show for over a year and has been campaigning relentlessly to tighten laws on the crime of image-based sexual abuse, which is the sharing of private, sexual materials of another person without their consent. 

For help and support or more information, you can call Refuge’s Freephone 24hr National Domestic Abuse Helpline on 0808 2000 247 for free, confidential specialist support or visit www.nationaldahelpline.org.uk. 

Source: Read Full Article