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Revenge porn distributors to face the law – SAPS

Written by Bontle Motsoeneng

A 32-year-old Free State man who sent a video of himself and his under-age girlfriend having sex to friends and teachers at the girl’s school could be in hot water, says SA Police Service National Spokesperson Brigadier Vishnu Naidoo.

According to Naidoo, the man’s WhatsApp video is evidence of statutory rape as the girl was only 15 years old. Naidoo adds that the man also violated the Films and Publications Act, which strictly prohibits the circulation and distribution of child pornography.

According to Naidoo, the man’s WhatsApp video is evidence of statutory rape as the girl was only 15 years old. Naidoo adds that the man also violated the Films and Publications Act, which strictly prohibits the circulation and distribution of child pornography. (File photo)

According to Naidoo, the man’s WhatsApp video is evidence of statutory rape as the girl was only 15 years old. Naidoo adds that the man also violated the Broadcasting and Publications Act, which strictly prohibits the circulation and distribution of pornographic material.

Meanwhile, the 15-year-old Free State girl’s life has been “turned upside down”, after the sex video was widely distributed via the cell phone app.

She described how the pair had made the video.

“I went to visit my boyfriend after school and I was still in my school uniform,” she told OurHealth. “When I got there, he poured me some juice and we watched television. He then told me to go to the bedroom and to show him how much I love him.

“I knew what he wanted,” she added. “We went to the room and he said it will be fun if we take pictures because he wants to treasure them, as I am his lover. I then agreed.”[quote float= left]I was the laughing stock at school people. Even my teachers had seen the video. I was so ashamed, I went home”

Her boyfriend taped the entire lovemaking session and promised the teen no one would see it.

“I trusted him,” said the teen, who described how a panicked classmate called her later that night to say the video had gone viral in the community.

“She was shouting at me, she was asking me what was I thinking,” said the teen. “I didn’t understand what she was talking about and then she sent me the video clip over WhatsApp.

“I was shattered.”

“The next day I was the laughing stock at school people. Even my teachers had seen the video. I was so ashamed, I went home,” she said.

But at home even the neighbours had seen it. One neighbour, an older woman, encouraged the teen to report her boyfriend, but she declined because she had given her consent to be filmed.

Victims urged to lay charges

But Naidoo has urged victims of revenge porn to come forward even if they consented to being filmed explaining that public distribution of videos is an offence.[quote float= right]Revenge porn is growing and is a big problem…These videos amount to character assassination and cyber bullying”

“These videos amount to character assassination and cyber bullying,” Naidoo added. “When they consent to videos being taken, adults and youngsters alike, don’t always see the ramifications and the potential shame it can cause.”

A form of cyber bullying, revenge porn has increasingly made international headlines. Scorned lovers who have circulated sex videos via cell phones and the internet have led to several recent high profile cases in countries like the United Kingdom and the United States.

But Naidoo warns people circulating revenge porn will face the wrath of the law. He says revenge porn victims have strong legal recourse and should report it to their local police station. He has also warned new lovers, especially young people, to be less trusting when partners ask them to video lovemaking or other sexual acts.

Revenge porn is growing and is a big problem,” he said. “We have seen private material being distributed amongst friends and strangers causing a lot of shame and destroying loves. The most we can do is warn people to be less trusting.”

“Once the videos are out there, they are out there and can cause so many emotional problems,” he added. “Youngsters, in particular, should not be so extremely trusting in the beginning of relationships, They have a tendency to be trusting and this is the result.”

He said schools should broach the subject with pupils as police try to increase awareness.

When the teen asked her boyfriend why he had circulated the film, she claims he asked her, “Did you really think I loved you?

“You must be stupid. I got what I wanted and am done with you,” the man reportedly said. “I am going to ruin your life.”

The man could not be contacted for comment.

*Name withheld to protect the child’s identity

An edited version of this story originally appeared on IOL.co.za

About the author

Bontle Motsoeneng

Bontle Motsoeneng is an OurHealth Citizen Journalist reporting from the Free State’s Thabo Mofutsanyane Health District.