My mind flashed back to events of the last few months.
Our first few weeks together had been great, which was when that video was filmed. "It’ll be special, so I can watch you even when we’re apart." He talked me into it – the idea he’d show anyone else never crossed my mind.Even when his controlling behaviour escalated, that video never concerned me.The rows were constant, and his mind games got disturbing. "We’re only over when I say we’re over," he texted me after I’d plucked up the courage to leave him for good.While we were arguing one day, me crying in my pyjamas, he whipped out his phone, photographed my distraught expression, then threatened to put the picture on social media. "Don’t forget, I’ve still got that video," he messaged.Laughing with my friends, I glanced down at my phone.
We were having a sunny picnic in the park and I’d casually mentioned I’d had some Facebook friend requests from men I didn’t know.
"Check your “Others Inbox” to see if anyone’s messaged you," my friend Donna suggested.
As I logged on and opened the folder, a wave of nausea hit me.
Flashing in front of me was message after message, all from strange men. Some were unbelievably crude, describing what they wanted to do to me, others warned me that a sex video of me was online – even including a link. To my horror, my full name flashed up in capital letters, followed by a video that was private, intimate and graphic.
Five seconds’ viewing was enough – I shut down the screen and flung the phone on the floor.
I felt violated and dirty, almost as if those men had been physically touching me.