In the Eye of the Camera

I have a love/hate relationship with film and cameras. In much of my abuse, film has been used as a weapon.

I know many survivors of the sex trade have terrible experiences with being filmed, being put on video and having photos exchange of them.

Many live with the knowledge that their image is used for more violence. Their image is used and abused as porn, and they have no control, no right to say they did not give permission.

That I know. But, here I want to write from my gut what it is to live knowing images exist of me being used as porn. Write from my gut what to live with knowing I have filmed as porn scenarios, without any consent from me.

When I lived with my stepdad, he filmed me regularly. He worked in advertising as a director, and saw himself as a professional photographer.

So no snapshots for him, but I was posed like a David Bailey fashion shot. There nothing natural when he shot.

It left me with a sick feeling.

As he shot me climbing trees, shooting up to show my knickers. As he shot me naked in the bath. As he posed me in chairs, posed me until my body ached. As he shot me in bed trying to sleep.

It was never innocent.

Especially as he exchanged photos of me with other men. Showing me photos of girls, telling me they were sexy.

I choose to not understand what he was saying.

But I felt followed by the camera. I shut my eyes I thought I was being filmed everywhere, I was never alone.

I hated even snapshots taken by people I could trust.

But it was my years of sadistic prostitution, where my terror of being filmed was made firm.

Sometimes I was filmed or had photos made of me.

Let me say, I cannot precise times or places. I was being sexually tortured, I was in detachment, I cannot clear of “facts”.

But my gut aches as camera points at me when I don’t expect it. My gut knows the terror as I hear other prostituted women’s fear of film.

I know I was filmed during some gang-rapes, I remember in my fear how I posed for the camera during sexual tortures.

God, my gut is sick over and over now as I know that posing.

Hell, as if the torturing was not enough. By filming me I was owned, I lost freedom as that film became public property.

I have to live knowing there are films and photos of me may be anywhere. On a website, in a box of porn, or just keep for private use of the sadistic bastards that used me.

I cannot destroy film when I have no access to it.

So anyone who want to claim porn is harm free, think whether the models or actresses were really allow to fully consent to their images being used.

Or was it filming of prostituted women who had no right to say no. Or was filming of sexual violence, where the the women and girl cannot express no, when she is too busy trying to stay alive and not having too many injuries.

I am sick of the concept that porn is harm free.

Look with an eye of compassion – not the self-centred eye of being turned on.

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3 responses to “In the Eye of the Camera

  1. Thank you Rebecca for your personal account of the invasiveness of “home-made porn”.

    It reminds me of, about 25-30 years ago now, when I was working in a photo lab. We developed this roll of film of a little boy (probably about 8?), he was not naked, but usually in his underwear. I was highly suspicious as to the nature of this film, but there was little time to call in the police (as it was a 1 hour D&P request). Nor would I think the police have taken it seriously because it was not of a clearly “sexual nature”. I just know in my heart that the dude who took those pictures was a child molester. This still haunts me to this day.

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  2. which is why I don’t like/watch porn. the films I have seen, all I see is teh desperation in their eyes.

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  3. I never realised I wasn’t the only one who’d had videos and footage made of their assaults. It makes me so fucking sick and angry to this day that one day some asshole could turn around and say ‘sorry, no job/xyz for you, I found your porno on the net’ which would be fucking totally unfair seeing as I never wanted any part of it.

    I’m so sorry this has happened to you, and I hope you’ve managed to recover in leaps & bounds.

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