Annmarie Chiarini: I was a victim of revenge porn. I don’t want anyone else to face this. “My ex tried to sell nude photos of me on eBay and put them on a porn site. But I fought back and am pushing to make this illegal.”
Annmarie Chiarini is a victim of image-based sexual abuse. Her boyfriend had threatened to publish private images he had of her, and eventually, he did. She has been very outspoken against image-based sexual abuse, and is pushing to make image-based sexual abuse a crime. When image-based sexual abuse was criminalised in the UK, she once more voiced her disappointment in the lack of criminalisation in the US. Her endurance is an example to all, but it is horrible that she was not able to claim her rights and be supported by law enforcement from the start.
This is her story, as she described it in The Guardian.
“I begged and pleaded for him not to carry out his threat. Then he said the words that would change the course of my life: “I will destroy you.” I called the Baltimore County police and through my sobs tried to explain what was happening and why I needed help. The dispatcher sent an officer to my home who looked down on me as I explained that I wanted him to stop a threat. It was the first of many times I would be told, “There is nothing I can do. No crime had been committed.””
After her boyfriend carried out his threat, police were still not on her side.
“I called the police and again an officer stood in my home, looked down on me and said, “Nothing we can do. No crime here.” I went to a local police precinct hoping someone else would know more than the cops I spoke with. I stood by fighting tears while three officers looked over the auction printouts I brought and snickered. The blond one who finally came over to talk to me seemed amused. It was my first experience with overt victim blaming. And because it came from someone charged to protect and serve, it drove my shame and embarrassment to a paralyzing level.”
Since I don’t have that peace, I still face some of the fears I did the day I first brought my case to law enforcement, but I have embraced my role as the voice for those who have not yet found their voices. And I will speak up.”