Former “Love Island” star Georgia Harrison has revealed that her social media following performed an enormous half in serving to her get justice after her ex-boyfriend Stephen Bear shared non-public sexual footage with out her consent. When she learnt of an express video circulating on-line, she referred to as upon her 1.2million Instagram followers for help. “I simply felt like my dignity was already gone. Everybody was sending this round, it was time to get some assist,” she tells POPSUGAR.
Harrison grew to become the sufferer of revenge porn when a video of her having consensual intercourse with Bear was captured on CCTV cameras in his backyard in Loughton, Essex, with out her information. When Bear confirmed her the footage, she requested him to by no means ship it to anybody, solely to find it had been circulating on-line in August 2020 — together with being bought on Bear’s private OnlyFans website.
“That was simply such a devastating second for me. There’s meaning to trigger misery, after which there’s promoting that video, that I by no means even gave permission to be filmed, on the web,” Harrison provides. “To be handled like that by somebody that after you actually did look after and love, it was simply heartbreaking pondering he would do this to me.”
“This [case] goes to vary the best way society seems at this kind of against the law, and for that, all I will be is grateful.”
After a gruelling two 12 months look forward to the trial, throughout which Harrison discovered herself with out work and compelled to maneuver again house, Bear was lastly sentenced at Chelmsford Crown Court docket on 3 March to 21 months in jail. He was discovered responsible of two counts of revealing non-public sexual photographs with intent to trigger misery, in addition to receiving a majority verdict of 10-2 on the depend of voyeurism. Bear was additionally given a restraining order to not contact Harrison for 5 years, ordered to signal the intercourse offenders register, and might want to disclose his whereabouts to the police for 10 years.
Now, Harrison is decided to assist others and lift consciousness of the crime through a brand new ITV documentary airing on Monday, 20 March, titled “Revenge Porn: Georgia vs Bear”, throughout which she particulars the psychological and bodily toll it took on her. “I simply utterly did deteriorate. I used to be having panic assaults, I had anxiousness on a degree that you simply would not even imagine. I nonetheless discover it arduous in sure public locations the place it’s actually busy, particularly if I haven’t got a good friend or member of the family with me,” she says. “However as time has gone on, I am simply fortunate that I’ve such a robust friendship group and such a robust household. I’ve had remedy alongside the best way as effectively. It is simply been an enormous therapeutic journey for me, however my mates are wonderful, they make me really feel so good about myself, and that is what I want.”
Whereas she has a robust community round her, she additionally discovered monumental help together with her social media followers. “After I first bought the message to see that [the footage] had gone viral, and it was in America, I used to be clearly actually shocked — absolutely he would not have wished this video to go viral and break my profession, but additionally his personal profession,” Harrison explains. “After which as time went on, that is after I thought, ‘I have to ask my followers to assist me’ as a result of I do know that video is on the market, persons are watching it across the globe.”
Harrison found that folks she knew had seen the video, however have been reluctant to take motion and report it. As an alternative, the TOWIE star turned to social media to induce her followers to ship her mum, who was performing as her agent on the time, an electronic mail with hyperlinks to the video in the event that they got here throughout it. This put Harrison in a weak place, making herself identifiable within the express content material. “I requested my followers if they’d any proof and, though that took away my proper to anonymity, it actually did spotlight it was me within the video and it additionally bought me the proof that meant Bear bought his conviction.”
All through the traumatic ordeal, Harrison was flooded with messages from others going via one thing comparable, which led to her making the documentary. “I can now look again on it as one thing that was possibly meant to occur,” she displays. “And this [case] goes to vary the best way society seems at this kind of against the law, and for that, all I will be is grateful.”
“Revenge Porn: Georgia vs Bear” is on ITV2 & ITVX at 10pm on Monday, 20 March.
Should you or somebody you recognize is a sufferer of revenge porn, the Revenge Porn Helpline has sources to assist and help you.