Kelly McGurk, 29, was humiliated after her ex-boyfriend, Jamie Leitch sent private images and video which spread to dozens of people sharing them. Leitch sent the images to his friends after Kelly ended their four year relationship.
Revenge porn is revealing or sharing private images or videos without consent from then person in the image in order to distress or embarrass someone. It is usually done by an ex boyfriend or girlfriend.
Sexting plays an ever-growing role in young people’s lives. A young person may send a private picture to please their boyfriend or girlfriend but they could turn around and send it to a friend to show off, who could share it to other people or even post it online. Relationships can end badly and those images or videos can be posted online or shared to spite or embarrass you as a form of revenge.
Taking back control
Kelly is now the face of the BBC Radio 4’s Women’s Hour programme called Take Back ConTROLL along with fellow victims, Charley Hough, who had her half-brother send her photos on to an American porn site, Jackie Teale, who got involved in a fake news situation by tweeting Katie Hopkins and Charlotte Proudman, who had to leave social media after speaking about sexism in the legal profession. The programme has been backed up and supported by celebrities such as Charlotte Church, Andy Serkis, DJ Edith Bowman and Miranda Hart.
You’ve heard their stories, and now our 4 women are trying to #TakeBackConTROLL. We’ve teamed them up with a top ad agency, along with Miranda Hart, Charlotte Church and Andy Serkis. But what have they come up with? 🤔 Tune it at 10am tomorrow 👉 https://t.co/njdfldmJWi pic.twitter.com/0YC1ctBR93
— BBC Woman’s Hour (@BBCWomansHour) April 29, 2018
The programme aims to have trolling seen as a public health issue. Kelly has also recorded a song with other victims and celebrities, which pokes some fun at trolls. Kelly has also expressed how proud she is to support the programme.
This should spark up a debate, especially for young people about what to share and what not to share. The internet is such a fantastic thing and is such a part of our lives but it can be dangerous.
In a survey of 1,559 UK teenagers, carried out by Childnet, half of the teens have witnessed private images circulating of someone they knew. Take Back ConTROLL wants to help those who have been a victim to online sexual harassment and raise awareness that these issues are important.
Here are a few ways that you can defend and protect yourself from revenge porn.
You must ask yourself. Do you completely trust your partner with these kind of images? If you have any doubt about the person or if you are just not sure about them, do not hit send. If you do trust the person and still want to send it, make sure that your face is not seen and that any identifiable details cannot be seen. It will provide some anonymity.
Also make sure to use secure apps. The good thing about Snapchat is that it informs you if someone screenshots your picture but it doesn’t notify you if someone takes a picture of the screen from another device so keep that in mind too.