‘It Feels More Like Gang Rape’: Revenge Porn Victim Speaks Out in New Documentary | Law & Crime

‘It Feels More Like Gang Rape’: Revenge Porn Victim Speaks Out in New Documentary

Darieth Chisolm is an Emmy-winning television news anchor and accomplished author. She is also a victim of revenge porn, the term used to describe the sending and publishing of sexual images without the subject’s permission. Chisolm appeared live on the Law & Crime Network with host Heather Hansen on Monday, and she discussed her own experiences, as well as those of others she’s met while shooting a documentary, ’50 Shades of Silence.’ The film covers the struggles both men and women go through when targeted for cyber-sexual exploitation.

Chisolm said she is currently going through legal battles with an ex who took pictures of her—some without her knowledge at the time—and then tried to blackmail her into staying with him by threatening to post the images online. She said that he followed through on his promise by publishing pictures on a website and then telling her coworkers and family members to go to the site. Her experience making the documentary, of which she is Executive Producer, led her to hear similar accounts from “thousands of victims.”

Women are most often thought of as the typical victims of revenge porn, but men find themselves as targets as well. Chisolm said she spoke with a young man who, as a high school student, sent pictures to someone he thought was a girl, but turned out to be a man. She said after the student went off to college, the man revealed himself and tried to extort the young man.

Recently, Republican Rep. Joe Barton was publicly shamed after a nude image he sent to a woman found its way onto the internet, and he ended up apologizing. With so many politicians and celebrities recently accused of sexual misconduct, the public seemed poised to lump Barton in with them, but as more details came out, nothing about Barton’s story appeared nonconsensual, except for the publication of the picture. Based on what we know so far, Barton sure seems like the victim of revenge porn.

Chisolm discussed how damaging it can be to have such private images published on the internet for the world to see.

“In my opinion, it feels more like gang rape,” she said.

In addition to the documentary, Chisolm also has a website that provides an outlet for others to share their stories, as well as information about online harassment and helpful instructions for what a person can do if they’re a victim of revenge porn and want to have pictures removed.

“For the victims this is truly about giving voice and dignity to those victims who are silenced, who are locked away and shame and who just don’t know how to speak up,” Chisolm said.

 

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