The information we received on an issue arising from the United Kingdom involving a United States based sex-website company that is operating from Belize, suggests that the victim, a woman, residing in County Antrim, Northern Ireland, is demanding that the website remove photos of her which are advertising her as a prostitute.
           
The article, which we found on the BBC Northern Ireland website, states, “The woman is claiming that the company is guilty of libel and malicious falsehood against her”.
  
The victim initially wrote to the Belize-based company asking them to take down the four pictures they had of her which were provided to them by her ex-partner. Hilary Carmichael, the legal advisor for the woman, was quoted as saying, “She [the victim] is saying that she never consented to the publication of her photographs. She [the victim] contacted the website when she realized that her photographs were on it and requested that the material be removed.
  
But they still remained on the website.
  
“On the website, the plaintiff is depicted as a prostitute and/or a sex worker and we are saying that the defendant has profited as a result of the publication to which our client did not give consent.”
  
According to the article, which was published on September 28, 2011, the victim’s lawyer, Peter Girvan, was granted permission to pursue the matter, and as a result a writ — a court order issued to an addressee for it to immediately stop whatever it is doing — was sent to the company here in Belize.
  
Hilary was also quoted as saying that, “In the event that the photographs are not removed, now that the writ has been served, we reserve the right to proceed in the next couple of days to seek an injunction forcing the defendant to make sure the photographs are removed and forcing an obligation on the defendant to start monitoring this type of site.”
  
Further information provided by the article on the news website is that the pictures were taken during the couple’s relationship and that the victim at no point authorized her partner to share the private pictures.
  
Typically, whenever information is circulated that a woman has had her body explicitly exposed on the Internet, she is condemned. In close-knit societies, the woman is tormented until she either removes herself from that community or waits it out.
  
In this victim’s case, she left her home, as the article stated, “The writ also disclosed that a campaign of harassment which led to her leaving her hometown and moving into a refuge may be linked to the unauthorized publication.”
           
We are saying that there is a very good arguable case,” concluded Hilary to the reporter.
             
Amandala tried to get information concerning this issue from our Belizean authorities but we were told by the Police Press Officer, Sergeant Fitzroy Yearwood, that he was unaware of any issuance of an official report about this issue to Belize authorities. Yearwood told us that he has since forwarded the article to the head of the Crimes Investigation Branch and that he is awaiting a response on whether they have any official reports.
   
We were able to establish contact with Hilary Carmichael, but an interview was impossible, presumably due to the ending of the workday; we will, however, do a follow-up on this story.
           
Apart from this Northern Ireland victim, many other women all over the world have fallen victim to cyberspace blackmailing and revenge-porn. Interestingly enough, we found a website encouraging visitors, particularly men, to post nude pictures and explicit videos of their ex-wives and girlfriends with promises of a “peace-of-mind,” almost guaranteeing, that by posting the pictures and videos, especially with a little commentary, they (the men) would heal from the bad break-up.
           
Anti-revenge-porn websites cast a light on the women/victims, encouraging them not to entrust anyone with such valuable and precious/private moments of themselves, whether it be a boyfriend or husband.
           
We researched the issue of revenge porn and found an article entitled “Revenge Porn”, written by a well-known journalist Richard Morgan, whose works have graced the pages of The New York Times, The Economist, The Wall Street Journal and many other publications.
  
Morgan wrote, “Revenge porn popped up on Urban Dictionary as recently as October 2007, defined as ‘homemade porn uploaded by an ex-girlfriend or (usually) ex-boyfriend after a particularly vicious breakup as a means of humiliating the ex’.
  
While the act can lead to criminal charges, there’s some debate over whether revenge porn, per se, ought to be codified as a crime. What’s clear, however, is that it is part of the digital-age Zeitgeist. The ease of recording and transmitting sexually explicit images, the rise of Internet exhibitionism, and the ubiquity of a ‘Girls Gone Wild’ mentality have created the contemporary version of writing ‘Jenny gives good head’ on the bathroom wall.”
           
Morgan ended his article by saying, “Given the rise in the number of legal cases involving the use of homemade porn to exact revenge, it seems inevitable that new laws will be passed to address the phenomenon. In the meantime, its mere existence serves as a strong cautionary beacon.
  
You have to think of revenge porn almost like an STD: something that can only happen because of mixing sex with irresponsibility.”
           
In this age of Cyber-realities, Belizeans are as exposed to potential online abuses as citizens of any other nation.

Amandala