“We cannot ignore the male victims of revenge porn.”

Video via Channel 7

Since revenge porn became ‘a thing’ we’ve heard story after horrifying story about women who’ve fallen victims to vicious exes. But, sadly, this isn’t a gender exclusive nightmare; revenge porn happens to men too.

This week, it’s been reported images of NRL rising star Bryce Cartwright, who plays for Penrith Panthers, were posted on Facebook without his consent.

The Daily Telegraph reported his ex Brittany Hura, who’s said to have been in a relationship with Cartwright for six years, posted a naked photo and screenshots of explicit text messages online.

It didn’t stop there. She also reportedly posted a ranting video in which she said he would “be dead soon, bro. Yeah, in the grave even. Six feet under, bro. Six feet under. You don’t even know what’s coming at you.”

In another furious Facebook post (thought to be connected to rumours he’d cheated) she ranted, “NO! I will not stand for this. Women deserve more than this. We deserve respect. If you can’t respect your woman then have the decency to leave.”

Advertisement

She has a very bizarre and deluded definition of respect.

On Tuesday, Hura was charged with using a “carriage service to menace/harass or offend and stalk/intimidation with the intent to fear physical harm”. This is the law some states are currently leaning on until specific revenge porn legislation is introduced.

Brittany Hura been charged with number of offences as there is no specific law against "revenge porn". Image via Facebook

In 2013, Victoria was the first state to react and make it a criminal offence to share intimate imagery, texts or videos of an ex partner with the intent to cause harm or distress, or to distribute images without consent. Offenders can face up to two years imprisonment for distributing images and up to one year for threatening to distribute images. Specific legislation was introduced in South Australia in October 2016. NSW will be the third state when it brings in legislation next year.

It’s been reported revenge porn affects one in 10 Australians. The majority of victims to date have been women, their most intimate moments splashed onto websites and shared viciously by trolls. But there are male victims too, and they can’t be ignored. We have to take all revenge porn seriously, including the instances involving women sharing photos of men without their consent.

Speaking on Triple M’s Summer Grill on Tuesday, former Panthers centre Ryan Girdler said, “A woman scorned. It’s a bit of a lesson isn’t it for the young guys coming through. If you’re in the public domain, you’re sort of public property in a sense and if you’re in a long term relationship and you think you’re possibly never going to break up, you just need to be careful with what you do because it’s news.”

There’s a saying, “Hell hath no fury like a woman scorned.” I heard someone say this week it’s a myth that jilted women act out of spite. Many like to believe all evil perpetrators are male. Unfortunately, they’re wrong.

"Hell hath no fury like a woman scorned" may not be far off. Image via iStock

In the US, former NSA officer John Schindler was placed on leave from his professorship at the US Naval War College after a photo of his penis was posted to Twitter and re-published on Gawker. The woman said, “I wanted to inform his wife & embarrass him.”

A Chief of Staff resigned after a woman tweeted alleged photos of his penis to his boss’s account. She said she was seeking “revenge”.

In the UK earlier this year, Ellie Melaugh, 20, was the first woman to be convicted of victimising a man and using revenge porn to humiliate him without his consent. She uploaded images alongside his name and full address to his Facebook and Twitter. The man, who can’t be named for legal reasons, said, “She turned my life into a living nightmare. Everyone could see she was trying to destroy me. I was living with my grandmother at the time and she was suffering from cancer. The whole thing just spiraled out of control.” She received a 12-week jail term, suspended for two years.

There are increasing reports of female perpetrated attacks – the reality is, both sexes can be violent.

Today there are shocking reports of three women in the UK sexually assaulting a stranger they met at a bar, with part of the hideous attack caught on camera. Once again alcohol played a major role. The women, who now face jail time and will sign the sex offenders’ register, gave him vodka until he passed out before molesting him.

It shouldn’t just be up to the law to set boundaries; our moral compass should be kicking in and playing a role too. Do we not have any control over our emotions?

Revenge porn is about power. Image via Facebook

When you leave a relationship you have a lot of power. You know someone’s weaknesses, their private backstory and often have photos of them that they wouldn’t pin up in the window of their homes for all to see.

It’s up to every individual – male and female – to do the right thing.

With great power comes great responsibility. If you’re rejected, even if your partner’s cheated or totally trampled on your heart, you don’t seek revenge. You pick yourself up, vent your anger at the gym and move on.

If this post brings up any issues for you, or if you just feel like you need to speak to someone, please call 1800 RESPECT (1800 737 732) – the national sexual assault, domestic and family violence counselling service. It doesn’t matter where you live, they will take your call and, if need be, refer you to a service closer to home.

For more from Corrine Barraclough, follow her on Facebook here.

JOIN THE CONVERSATION
FROM OUR NETWORK