News

Revenge porn: Woman whose explicit images were viewed 48,000 times online without consent says victims ‘suffering in silence’

football souvenir colour
The Official Football Souvenir Store

A woman whose ex-partner shared intimate photos of her online which were viewed thousands of times has warned revenge porn victims are “suffering in silence”, amid calls to address “serious gaps” in the law.

Folami Prehaye told Sky News she faced “emotional turmoil” after her former boyfriend Thomas Samuel posted explicit pictures of her on the internet and shared them with her family, work colleagues and friends.

They were uploaded to various porn sites and on Facebook where they were seen 48,000 times before being removed, she says.

Following her ordeal, the mother-of-two from Bristol set up the support group Victims of Image Crime to help those who have suffered from image-based sexual abuse.

After a sharp rise in reports of revenge porn during the pandemic, Ms Prehaye warned the situation is “only going to get worse before it gets better”.

She told Sky News: “There’s not enough support emotionally long-term (for victims).

“People who are subjected to this type of crime tend not to talk about it straight away – they tend to suffer in silence.

“Once your content is removed, then what happens? It’s not just about the removal of content.

“This is stuff you relive all the time. There’s got to be some longevity of support.”

Please use Chrome browser for a more accessible video player

Love Island star’s revenge porn ordeal

Calls to outlaw deepfake porn videos

The government is facing to calls to update laws to ban deepfake porn videos, where victims’ faces are superimposed on to images of naked bodies and posted online.

Former cabinet minister Maria Miller told the Commons this week there were “serious gaps” in the law that meant deepfake pornography was not illegal in England and Wales. It is outlawed in Scotland.

The Revenge Porn Helpline said it had seen an increase in reports of the videos over the last year and urged the government to “get ahead of the curve” and ban them.

EMBARGOED TO 0001 THURSDAY JANUARY 13 File photo dated 04/03/17 of a child using a laptop computer. Last year was the worst year on record for child sexual abuse online, the Internet Watch Foundation has said, as the online safety group called for more support for parents to help spot the danger.
Image:
The Revenge Porn Helpline said it had seen an increase in reports of deepfake videos

Kate Worthington, a practitioner at the helpline, told Sky News: “We are starting to see deepfakes come into the helpline.

“From someone else’s perspective, they don’t know that’s not your naked body.

“Several celebrities have been unfortunate victims of this.

“Your face is superimposed on to an image of a naked body that isn’t yours.

“There is technology out there which can do that quite cleverly.”

In response to Ms Miller, justice minister Victoria Atkins said the government was seeking advice from the Law Commission to update legislation “to better reflect the 21st century in which we all live”.

Read more: Revenge porn victims have doubled in last two years, figures suggest

Victim Support sees rise in revenge porn cases

Valerie Wise, from the charity Victim Support, said it had also seen an increase in revenge porn cases that had been “exacerbated” by the coronavirus lockdowns.

She also warned that new technology allowing abusers to spy on victims was a “perpetrator’s paradise”.

Ms Wise, Victim Support’s national domestic abuse lead, said she was aware of cases involving tiny cameras being inserted into a teddy bear, a water bottle and a picture frame.

Teddy bear
Image:
There are cases of spy cameras being hidden in teddy bears, says Victim Support. File pic

It comes after a former senior Metropolitan Police officer was jailed for voyeurism offences last month after using spy cameras to secretly film naked women.

Neil Corbel, who was a detective inspector when he committed the crimes, posed as an airline pilot to book models for photoshoots before planting the gadgets in hotel rooms, flats and Airbnbs.

Neil Corbel is a former counter-terrorism officer
Image:
Former Met Police officer Neil Corbel was jailed for voyeurism offences

The cameras were hidden in everyday items, including tissue boxes, phone chargers, air fresheners, glasses, keys and headphones, to video his unsuspecting victims for up to four hours.

Ms Wise told Sky News: “The tools have become so incredibly sophisticated.

“The person is seeing what’s going on in the home, with you being absolutely oblivious to it.

“That is image-based abuse. It’s voyeurism, without you being aware that somebody is able to listen in and see what’s happening.

“It is really frightening. It’s just unbelievable how sophisticated the technology has become, which is really the perpetrator’s paradise.”

Read more: Police ‘blamed victims’ and failed to connect reports about online sex predator

‘I’ve been propelled into a position of power’

Folami Prehaye faced 'emotional turmoil' after explicit victims of her were shared online
Image:
Ms Prehaye set up a support group to help revenge porn victims

Ms Prehaye’s former partner Samuel received a six-month sentence, suspended for two years, in October 2014.

She said that while she faced “trauma”, “emotional turmoil” and depression following her ordeal, her ex-boyfriend had ultimately “propelled her into a position of power”.

She told Sky News: “That was very much my aim – take back my power and control of my life and the images I want to be out there.

“It’s about turning a negative situation into a positive, and I can happily say I’ve done that.

“I know part of my recovery was about helping other people and making a difference and I know I’ve done that too.”

Ms Prehaye acknowledged that her “recovery journey” is ongoing and certain “triggers” have set her back in the past.

She said: “My previous partner had a job working in the same office park as me around the corner. That just triggered me, knowing he was that close to me.

“Even though I’d dealt with it and moved on, I’d picked my life back up, I trusted again, sometimes it’s those little things that can just set you back a little bit.

“The recovery journey… it’s something that can last.”

What is the law on revenge porn?

The UK banned the sharing of explicit images without someone’s consent in 2015.

The crime carries a potential two-year jail sentence for offenders.

The measure targets people who share images or video without permission and with the intention of causing distress.

They are often posted by an ex-partner and sometimes accompanied by personal details, such as a social media profile.

The law includes uploading to the internet, sending by text, email or messaging platforms, as well as simply showing someone a physical or electronic image.

In 2019, upskirting became a criminal offence, with offenders facing up to two years in prison for taking an image under somebody’s clothing in order to see their genitals or underwear.

This week it was announced cyber flashing will become a crime, with people who send unwanted genital photos expected to face prison time.

The Revenge Porn Helpline is able to assist adult victims of intimate image abuse and can be contacted here.

Ms Prehaye’s support group can be contacted here, while details of how to contact Victim Support can be found here.

football souvenir colour
The Official Football Souvenir Store
Liverpool
Chelsea
Manchester City
Arsenal
Tottenham Hotspur
Manchester United
Leicester City
Newcastle United
West Ham United
Barcelona
Real Madrid

Source link

Related Posts