Rachel is your typical 14-year-old teenage girl living in rural America. She plays the trumpet in her high school marching band, gets straight A's in her classes, loves animals and dreams of becoming a veterinarian.
In school, she has a group of close friends and is generally liked by most of her peers. She even caught the eye of her school's star football player Eric when she still a freshman. He was her first boyfriend, and she was madly in love with him. The two were practically inseparable, and whenever they were forced to be physically apart, they would text each other all night long.
As their relationship blossomed, he encouraged her to send provocative photos of herself to him. At first they were simply bra & panty pictures, then it moved into topless, and finally full nude. She felt completely comfortable with him and enjoyed the thrill of taking these photos.
About a year into their relationship, Eric was convinced she was cheating on him. Rachel tried to explain she was only friends with this other boy, but Eric could not shake this feeling. As the school year continued, the two began to drift apart, and eventually, they broke up.
Eric was mad about the breakup; in a fit of rage, he posted all of the photos he had of Rachel online. These included nude and semi-nude images she had sent him and also a short video of her performing oral sex upon him. These were posted to multiple online adult and "ex-girlfriend/revenge porn" type sites under titles like "Teen Slut Rachel Sucks my ****."
Rachel was mortified that her personal and intimate photos were shared online for everyone to see. She used the "report this image" feature on one of the websites and thought that would fix everything. The problem was, by the time she found out about the photos, they had already been downloaded thousands of times and redistributed to multiple other websites.
It was not very long, and the rumor mill at school kicked into full force. Within days everyone in school knew about the photos and were calling her disparaging names under their breath as she walked by.
School administration became aware of the situation and sat down with Rachel and her parents. Rachel sat in the principal's office with her head in her hands, crying. How could someone she loved so much do this to her?
With the advice of the school counselor, they involved the local police department and the family lawyer. Together, with the use of Cyberbully.watch, they were able to find dozens of websites showing Rachel's photos and get them taken down.
It is important to note here that while Rachel did willingly take the photos in question, she never intended for the pictures to be shared online with strangers.
No matter how you feel personally on the subject of teenagers sexting, it happens and ignoring it does not fix the problem.
She is the victim and should be treated as such. Nobody deserves to be disrespected and treated like this.