TESTIMONY. "I have been a victim of revenge porn. Since then, my life has been hell"

Do victims of revenge porn have the right to be forgotten? Despite his complaint, the intimate video broadcast by his ex, convicted by the courts, still runs on the Internet.

Each month, Farah * meets its past. A painful episode that she would like to forget, but the Internet refuses. Farah connects to an online service that allows you to exercise your right to be forgotten on search engines. Each time, his name is associated with porn video streaming sites. So, every month, she relaunches the steps to have this video erased, which shattered her life, her reputation, her television career, and which forced her to leave her country, Algeria, for France.

It was her boyfriend at the time who filmed these images in 2007 during a love affair. "To please him, after months of insistence, I accepted only once that he films me," says Farah. From his intimacy to her, he will reveal everything. But he is careful not to show his face. The one who thought she was living a beautiful romance bathed in love and confidence has just offered a manipulator a weapon for revenge. A porn revenge that has been going on for thirteen years now.

When she complains, she is told that a good woman cannot be filmed

At the time, Farah was 27 years old, she was a French-speaking TV host in Algeria and presented major events in the country such as fashion shows or business conferences. She is then in love with an Algerian producer. Both unmarried, they live their love without hiding. "But I decided to leave him. From then on, he started threatening me on the phone." If Farah is not his, then she will not be worthy of anyone. In 2007, social networks do not exist. But villainy makes fun of times. "One morning, my distraught mother came back from the market with flyers in her hand representing me naked with my mobile number and slogans of the type" I like to kiss ". There were some everywhere on the windshields of the cars of the I could still say it was a photomontage. "

The destruction business continues. "He broadcast MSN images from the video to everyone I know. It was terrible for me, my family, my sisters …" Farah does not dismantle and will courageously file a complaint with the police station. She faces numerous offenses: "I was told:" A good woman cannot be filmed. "For them, I was the culprit!" With dignity, Farah maintains his complaint. Her ex-spouse is arrested, his home searched. Police take many videos of other young women. Put under investigation, he was placed under a warrant for forty days. A first victory. But when he left, the defendant, holder of dual nationality, fled to France. He will be sentenced to eighteen months in prison in Algeria in his absence. Too late, the stalker had time to fight back. "On the run, he posted my video on the Internet. Since then, the same images have been looped from one porn site to another."

It is mainly women who are victims

Revenge porn has been condemned in France since 2016 (article 226-2-1 of the penal code). This offense of "invasion of privacy by the dissemination of sexual images" is punishable by one to two years in prison and a fine of € 45,000 to € 60,000 depending on the circumstances. If the latest revenge porn affair concerns a politician, the former LREM candidate for mayor of Paris, Benjamin Griveaux, women actually represent 90% of the victims. There were 192 convictions in 2018, but the prison sentence remains extremely rare. And although the number of complaints is increasing, 2,839 in 2019 against 2,564 in 2018, it remains very low compared to the number of crimes.

Out of fear or shame, most victims, often minors, do not pass the door of a police station. "It is not enough to tell the victims that they had to think of the consequences, enraged Farah", who self-edited a book on his history (Sextape. DZ, by M. M. M., Edilivre éditions) and wishes to alert young girls. "Nowadays, recruiters go to social media, google your name. Cyber ​​reputation is more important than what you have on your resume," says Farah, who, thirteen years later, lives with the fear of to be judged by a neighbor of the office. He will not even hide from having viewed the images of an abused colleague on a porn site. "And now, overnight, you feel in the eyes of the other that you are no longer worth anything …" It is time for shame to really change sides.

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