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Revenge porn victim speaks out about leaked nude photos
By: Genevieve Curtis
EL PASO, Texas Nude photos and other selfies may lead to regret as angry exes find outlets for revenge porn on various websites.
A local woman, who will be referred to as Dawn, said she is a victim of revenge porn as several of her photos appeared on Myex.com.
Dawn, 21, said she took some fun and flirty nude photos for a boyfriend she once moved across Texas for, but a year after their relationship ended, those photos resurfaced.
"I feel like I'm naked in front of a crowd," she said.
Dawn said she got a Facebook message alerting her those once intimate photos were now plastered all over the website for all to see.
"I freaked out, I felt horrible," said Dawn.
Dawn's profile on Myex.com currently has more than 13,000 views.
"You're so afraid the whole world is going to see it, every time you walk somewhere you think someone is judging you," said Dawn.
In the post, Dawn's ex wrote that she was a "slut" who "slept around." The worst part of the post, she said, is that the site links her personal Facebook profile.
She said she was constantly bombarded with racy messages from strangers as far away as Egypt and from people who know her. Dawn said she even gets recognized at work.
"You just want to scream and there is nothing you can do about it," said Dawn.
In Texas, there really isn't much she can do about the photos. California recently passed a law against revenge porn, but no such law exists in Texas.
"It's an issue I keep hearing more and more about not just in Texas but all across the country. I think it's an issue that will come up in the next legislative session," said attorney and State Rep. Joe Moody.
Moody said there may be some laws that could be used in these cases, like charging a person with transmitting or broadcasting an image without consent.
But Moody said whether that law needs to be tweaked or new legislation gets introduced, there may soon be tighter penalties to make this type of cyber revenge a crime.
"We do need to try and stay ahead of the times we are in and make sure these types of activities are punished accordingly," said Moody.
Dawn reached out to the website to have the photo removed, and the company said they'd be happy to oblige for $500.
Even if the photo gets removed, Dawn said the damage is already done.
"Even if we could get the ones taken down from that site who's to say they're not going to end up on another site," said Dawn.
There's no telling where her images are now or how many people have seen her once private pics.
"You see 1,100 views on the profile how many people save those? How many people are like, 'Oh, I know her' and then spread it more and spread it more. I can guarantee you 20 years from now I'm going to see them again," said Dawn.
Defense Attorney Dereck Wyatt said that Dawn may have a case for harassment, something a detective also told her.
Still, Wyatt said it could be hard to prove which party was responsible for posting the photo and that the law needs to catch up to technology.
Recognizing the need for it, in the last legislative session, state Rep. Mary Gonzalez filed a bill giving people some civil remedies, but the bill never made it out of committee.
So until there's some kind of legal protection, Dawn said think before you press send.
"Before you send it hit the end button. Don't," said Dawn.
Still Dawn said she refuses to let her ex get the best of her. She's holding her head high despite someone's attempts to bring her down.
"I just wanted to send a clear message to him: 'You're not taking me down,'" said Dawn. "They're the ones hiding behind a computer screen."
Dawn said she may take the advice from a detective and press charges for harassment.