If you are a victim of Image-Based Sexual Assault (IBSA)
Disclaimer: I am a vocal piece & advocate, I am not a case manager nor do I work with law enforcement. I cannot take on cases. However, I want to help victims navigate the course by providing helpful tips and resources.
Mental Health Comes First
IBSA is traumatizing. Professional mental health pros can help.
If you feel devastated, distraught, or hopeless:
call or text 988 (USA) to speak to a counselor immediately.
Find Your Crisis Lifeline
Find Therapists Near You
Legal Course of Action
48 states, Washington D.C., Guam, and Puerto Rico do have laws against nonconsensual image abuse (https://cybercivilrights.org/existing-laws/). Some laws are stronger than others, but victims should gather all evidence and file a police report in the state they are in and the perpetrator, if known, is in.
If someone created or disseminated a photo or video depicting you when you were under 18 years old (even if you are an adult now), please immediately contact law enforcement and report this to the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children (NCMEC) through their Cyber Tipline at https://report.cybertip.org/
CYBER CIVIL RIGHTS GUIDE
The CCRI Safety Center offers step-by-step suggestions on various paths an adult victim or survivor might consider. Some individuals may wish to follow all steps; others may decide that only one or two steps are right for them. The guidance contains a lot of thorough and detailed information. CCRI encourages individuals to take their time digesting it, and consider asking a supportive friend or family member to help think through which steps are the right next step.
My Victor Story
Shame can be so detrimental until you realize it’s just a manipulation tactic used by abusers who benefit from your self-destruction.
The power was mine all along. True self-acceptance and radical acts of self-love empowered me to change my mindset from victim to victor. Now I’m driven to share my story. I want people to know that intimate image abuse needs legislation reform. We deserve more than justice. We deserve a seat at the table. Women, minorities, immigrants, people of color, and the LGBTQIA community have been manipulated by shame to stay out of positions of power for long enough.
Abusers want you to give up. So succeed instead. Hack the healing process with therapy, find your purpose and step into a position of power.
A powerful action you can take right now is simply putting your local election dates in your calendar and bringing your friends out to vote for people who will fight for you. And donate to organizations that are fighting alongside you.
The key to achieving the social change we desperately need is inside every single one of you. It's in our ability to heal, unite and take action.