Revenge Porn: Shame in a snap

Revenge Porn: Shame in a snap

All he wanted to do was to shame her.

His former girlfriend had refused to resume their relationship. Hurt and angry, he sent her naked photo to her and a few friends under an assumed persona.

For legal reasons, we cannot name the woman and shall call the man "John". Both are in their early 20s.

John even threatened to send the photo to her parents and more friends.

This is what experts call revenge porn. The term was made infamous in 2010 by Hunter Moore, whose website Is Anyone Up? gained international attention for publishing nude images of young girls. The photos were gleaned from the cellphone archives of spurned ex-boyfriends.

The site often included victims' identifying information, such as names, employers and even addresses.

Psychologist Richard Lim says that often, jilted men resort to revenge porn because they want to vent their rage over being rejected. He adds: "A woman's modesty may seem the easiest way to target, it's where they are most vulnerable."

Britain is now considering outlawing revenge porn, said Justice Secretary Chris Grayling on July 1.

In Singapore, one can be charged under several laws, including electronically transmitting obscene objects, insulting a woman's modesty and, if a threat was made, criminal intimidation.

In John's case, his ex-girlfriend made a police report and he was apprehended.

He is still serving his probation sentence. He has also been ordered to perform community service.

The New Paper on Sunday caught up with John last week after he had finished two hours of community service.

John says ruefully: "I wanted to shame my ex-girlfriend. But I ended up shaming myself and my family members."

He buries his face in his hands briefly, then looks up with a wry smile.

"My father was so furious with me and my mother constantly broke into tears from the time the police came knocking on our door until the trial," he says.

It was a moment of folly that he emphasises no man should succumb to.

John says: "It doesn't matter how angry you feel when your girl rejects you. It doesn't matter how much you think she has hurt you. "The minute you give in to your hate and anger, you are screwing with your own life."

He declines to provide details on the past relationship, except that they had been dating for a couple of years before breaking up.

But several months after their break-up, they met again and ended up having sex. It was then that he took a picture of her.

"At that time, I only wanted the photo as a sweet memento of my first love," he claims.

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