“At the age of fifteen, when I was barely aware of the changes in my body, my ex-boyfriend asked me to ‘prove’ my love for him. Apparently, every time that I had to prove to him that I trusted him, or loved him as much as he did, I had to shed the clothes on my body and unzip my pants.

With each cloth off, he would believe me more.

After each time that I had to get intimate for him or send him pictures of my private body parts, the unrest in fifteen year old me, grew wider and bigger. He would tell me that he loved me and I wondered if this was the way to prove him that I loved him too.

So I, ‘consensually’ involved myself in a physical relationship with him and exchanged my private pictures. Somehow, everything I did could not suffice his faith in my ‘love’ and so he asked me to have sex with him, perhaps to be ‘sure enough’.

As young as I was, back then, sex was a huge concept. I was not sure if this was the right time to lose my virginity; I was not sure if he was the right man to lose my virginity to. So I finally decided to say NO.

I was prepared that he would tell me that this would prove that I belonged to him, with all my body and soul, but to be honest, I knew I did not.

I knew he did not care for the soul and hence none of me, neither the body nor the soul belonged to him anymore. I chose to leave.

Unlike, the rest of the times, he did not manipulate me emotionally and I was relieved. I decided to block him on all the platforms, and start fresh. Until, the next day, I received an e-mail from him.  

He mailed me all the intimate pictures he had of me and told me he would leak them online. I was devastated, alone and scared.

As immature and inexperienced that I was, I decided to go back; to him. I pretended to love him and kept pretending for as long as I could until he asked me for my pictures again.

Every time when I wanted to leave, he would threaten me to leak my pictures online, and I was blackmailed into the relationship.

Until one day, I decided to break this chain of constant harassment. I went to my mother and told her everything that I could.

She was disappointed, angry and everything that a mother of a fifteen Y/O would be; but she was a mother nevertheless. She called him and handled the entire situation.

Since then, I haven’t seen him again, but in some corner of my mind, I know he still has my pictures and the vulnerability still scares me.”

This is the story of Sneha*, now a successful and independent working woman.

This was the potential case of revenge porn that would otherwise have found its way among one of the million other revenge porn videos uploaded on multiple porn sites.

What is Revenge Porn?

Revenge porn or revenge pornography is the distribution of sexually explicit images or video of individuals without their consent.

The sexually explicit images or videos may be recorded by a partner during an intimate moment with the consent of the partners, or it may be made without his or her knowledge.

An NGO in India, Cyber & Law Foundation, conducted a survey in 2016 where it was revealed that as many as 27% of internet users, mostly between the age group 13-45, have fallen victim to revenge porn.

Ironically, if you open a porn site and look for Indian or South Asian porn, you would know the statistics are remarkably lower than the number of videos found on these sites.

Most of these videos are recorded either in changing rooms or corners of cyber cafes, without the knowledge of the individuals or in bedrooms when the woman is clearly heard saying no to their partners.

Debrati Halder, a cybercrime counselor says that the reason for such low official statistics is because in most cases the victim doesn’t approach the local police and public about consent based sexuality.

It stems from the basic concept of “log kya kahenge” because the society, under any circumstances would shame the victim.

The most frequent responses to these cases are:

“Shaadi se Pehle Sex karegi toh ye toh hoga hi!”

Because obviouly people don’t leave after commitment and extra marital affairs DO NOT EXIST.

Ladki ki galti hai, record kyu karne diya?
Kyuki Uski Marzi, to record or say no, to have sex or remain a virgin.

Mirror check karna tha na. She should have been more careful”. 
The question is, why does she have to be careful in the first place?

Revenge Porn In India


Related: A Feeble No Might Mean Yes; Peepli Live Rape Verdict Redefines The Meaning Of Consent


Criminal Laws Against Revenge Porn

Section 66E of the IT Act punishes people for violation of privacy.

“Whoever, intentionally or knowingly captures, publishes or transmits the image of a private area of any person without his or her consent, under any circumstances violating the privacy of that person, shall be punished with imprisonment which may extend to three years or with fine not exceeding two lakh rupees, or with both” said, Mishi Choudhary, President SLFC.

“Police usually book people under sections 67 and 67A of the IT Act 2000 in these cases”, cyber law expert Pavan Duggal told HuffPost India. However, there is a slight catch since both these sections aim more towards controlling the spread of pornography; the victim can also be booked under the law.

Morever, these cases come under the Cyber Law and therefore a revenge porn case is not dealt as a separate law.

With all these cases around us and the statistics in our hands, we as a society, need to take a call and begin by addressing that an issue like revenge porn even exists.

But, most of all, we need to give a space wide enough for victims to come out in open and not undergo the moral scrutiny they otherwise go through.

Lend a hand to the victims so no one dares to push her/him into the pit again.


*The name has been changed on the request of the person.


Image Source: Google Images

Source: Huffington Post, DNA India, Economic Times

Find The Blogger At: @__anam___


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