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Wednesday 23 May 2018
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Commentary

No to revenge porn

Sandrine Rattan writes a weekly column called With Women In Mind

There is a message in the way a person treats you, just listen –Word Porn

The anger and bitterness associated with broken relationships sometimes turn to revenge. Revenge porn has become one of the most popular weapons used to defame women in particular who may be victims of failed relationships. Revenge porn refers to the sharing of explicit and/or sexual images or videos that are posted publicly, social media being one of the more popular spaces.

Displaying vindictive tendencies in response to one’s anger due to a failed relationship signifies weakness at varying levels; persons so prone are characterised by poor self-esteem, narcissism, layers of insecurity and all the other emotional ills that befall those individuals.

More recently the International Women’s Resource Network has become flooded with such complaints, most of which required conversations with all parties involved. Though feelings of joy emanate from perpetrators thinking that the victims are most hurt, the focus and attention reverts to the perpetrators, as immediately you are judged by the world based on those actions.

Remember this now tainted relationship was once part of your DNA, your super love and all that’s nice, so becoming bitter and revengeful because the relationship deteriorated and/or ended simply demonstrates the real you which was masked throughout the good times. There is life before and after any relationship and so individuals need to display higher levels of maturity as they navigate with their partner.

Using threatening statements in an attempt to blackmail your estranged partner is childish and says a lot about your maturity and integrity. Because of the rise in incidents of revenge porn, women need to exercise extreme caution and vigilance when engaging in intimate activities as video-taping may be in progress (unannounced).

To avoid the occurrence of incidents involving revenge porn, women are strongly advised to adhere to some important tips of advice. Start by preparing a “social media pre-nuptial" agreement that includes clauses which clearly state what the couple agrees to not share on any online media with the potential to harm your partner’s reputation.

When you enter into a relationship, it is advisable to speak to your partner regarding your expectations of privacy and at the same time, establish some critical ground rules around those expectations. If revenge porn has already entered your private space, you should consider seeking legal advice sooner rather than later given the time sensitivity associated with such incidents. Copyright laws are also important; research shows that an estimated 80 per cent of revenge porn images are selfies and therefore, you own the copyright to your personal images.

Google has also articulated their position on revenge porn publicly. According to Amit Singhal, head of Google Search, “Our philosophy has always been, that search should reflect the whole web; but revenge porn images are intensely personal and emotionally damaging, and serve only to degrade the victims who are predominantly women. So going forward, we will honour requests from people to remove nude or sexually explicit images shared without their consent from Google Search results.”

Remember, your partner is not your property and therefore, individuals need to change the lens through which they view relationships.

Adriana Sandrine Rattan is a communications and branding consultant, author, empowerment builder and president of the International Women’s Resource Network (IWRN) Contact: thecorporatesuitett@gmail.com or intlwomensresourcenetwork@gmail.com; https://www.facebook.com/IWRN1/

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