'Revenge porn' got him into trouble

'Revenge porn' got him into trouble

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 using an assumed persona.

For legal reasons, we cannot name the woman and will 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 famous in 2010 by Hunter Moore, whose website Is Anyone Up? gained international attention for publishing naked images of young girls.

The photos were gleaned from the cellphone archives of spurned former boyfriends.

The site often included information identifying the victims.

Psychologist Richard Lim said that jilted men often resorted to revenge porn because they wanted to vent their rage over being rejected.

He added: "A woman's modesty may seem the easiest way to target (her), it's where she is 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 former 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.

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

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

"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 your own life," he said.

He declined to provide details of the past relationship, except to say 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 wanted the photo only as a sweet memento of my first love," he claimed. "I didn't take it with any intention of hurting her."

When the case made local headlines, some of his "old-time" friends even called him up "just to poke fun" at him.

He then turned into a semi-recluse and avoided going out to meet friends.

He said: "I felt ashamed of what I had done and I don't think I could stand more friends mocking me."

John is now taking small steps towards rebuilding his life.

For a start, he is taking on part-time jobs.

"I need a lot of courage, which I hope I will gradually muster. For now, I will just have to rely on my parents and the few really true friends who have not given up on me," he said.


This article was first published on July 13, 2014.
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