back One of the 45 stories

When I was 14 and had an account on Netlog, I was often chatting (MSN and text) with a boy who took the same train and went to school in the same neighbourhood. I knew he was a “bad boy”, mostly from his attitude, not from his personality, but that attracted me to him. He asked for a picture and I sent one of me in a bra, I didn’t dare send a full nude and I knew it could be dangerous to do so anyway. Suddenly I got a message from a friend ‘are you on Netlog? Is that you?!’ and I felt my heart stop. I saw my intimate picture online, on one of his friends’ pages. I was panicking, suppressed my tears and called a good friend who knew one of the people spreading my pictures well. I begged him to chastise his friends, to help me because my life would be over if he didn’t. I felt ashamed and especially the thought ‘how could I be so stupid, I am dirty, I have to change schools, my peers will think I’m a slut’ kept running through my head. This says a lot about the manipulative men’s world girls grow up in… I had heard stories from girls and they were always “the slut” and had to change schools, never the perpetrators themselves. Absurd. They took my picture offline, but I was blackmailed with it for years. I have lied to my classmates for years, told them no picture of me was spread. When I was on the train one day with my then best friend, one of the guys blackmailing me approached me and said: ‘give me your food or I will tell your friend everything’. Writing this down now, breaks my heart. Perhaps that picture never got deleted and is still out there somewhere. Now I am stronger, I share pictures of me in my bra without having to be sexualised and I hope young girls will be spared from all this :(