The beginning

I didn’t do enough the first time this happened.

I was panicked, embarrassed, afraid and ashamed. And while I still feel many of those same emotions, I also feel anger, hate, and fury both at him and at the pathetic law enforcement in this area.

Posing nude was never high on my to-do list in my relationships. But this guy was special – he was my have-to-have. We fell in love while I was in high school. We almost married, but I went off to college and he went off to pursue a music career. Shortly after our separation, we lost contact. Shortly after that I received a phone call that he had died in a car accident. This was long before the Internet or email. No one I knew had a computer or email. And on my college campus only the super-computer literate knew how to work email. And they only communicated with each other.   I mourned deeply.

16 years later we reunited. He sought me out, and I fell for him all over again.  The story of his death was a lie. We picked up where we left off 16 years ago – deeply in love and planning our wedding. I trusted him implicitly. I allowed him to form a  relationship with my children. He was the model of a future stepfather, husband, partner.

He loved me deeply and truly, but his definition of love was vastly different from mine. He saw his role as my lover that of a possessive, protective man.  He saw his beloved as a thing to be controlled. His abusive childhood shaped this approach to love. I understood. I knew I could help him heal. I gave it every effort I could.  But, in the end, he was abusive, and I had to get out.

He was not going to take this break up gently. He was, as he put it, going to destroy me for breaking my promises and lying to him.

He created an Ebay auction. The item up for bids? My body. All 88 pictures I had let him take over a 6-month period. He posted the link to the auction on Facebook pages of my place of employment. After he went into my email account and copied my address book, he emailed links to the auction to my ex-husband, babysitters, and friends. He mailed a printout of the auction page and a CD of the images to my son’s kindergarten teacher at the Catholic school he attends. He mailed the same to the chair of the department where I teach.

My horror, mortification, emotional distress and pain were unbearable. I attempted suicide a couple of times. I yelled at my therapist of two years, begging her to make the hurt go away. I deftly hid it all from my children.

I have not had contact with him in over 14 months. I blocked his and all his friends’ email addresses and phone numbers. I thought of him and what he did to me every day, but the pain was steadily lessening.

Then, on 19 September, 2011, I received an email at work that a profile was made of me by someone acting as me that featured naked pictures of me. It was him. It had to be.

The profile featured my full name and the details of my place of employment. It made me a target. The tagline on the profile read, “Hot for teacher? Come and get it!” A solicitation. I was terrified.

I reported it to the web hosting site, and it came down in three days. It had been active for 15 days and had over 3,000 views.

I also had the images copyrighted in my name. I now own them. They are my intellectual property.

The FBI can’t do anything unless he issues a death threat. The County police are too stupid to know what to do. The State police’s computer crimes division won’t return my calls.

I had to go on medical leave from work for 12 weeks. I am so afraid of who will come find me as a result of seeing the profile, that my hands tremble from anxiety.  I have Type I Diabetes, and the stress has affected my blood sugar levels. My levels skyrocket then plummet leaving me dizzy and disorientated. Stress and Type I Diabetes also exasperates depression and thoughts of suicide.

During these 12 weeks, I will be moving through the process to see new legislation come to pass that protects victims.

I plan to lobby for online harassment, stalking and impersonation to be a crime with considerable penalties.

The law, as it is written, states that since the victim gave consent to have the pictures or videos taken, no crime was committed.

Consent to have them taken does not also imply consent to have them published. That is the crime.

That is where innocents are exploited. That is what I am fighting for.  To see the end of this exploitation.

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1 Comment

  1. BSL

     /  October 3, 2011

    You go, my friend. Turn that whole thing around and grow from it. Help others. Here is your cheering section.

    Like

    Reply

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