Love Island's Zara McDermott shares experience of image based sexual abuse when she was 14 years old 1 week ago

Love Island's Zara McDermott shares experience of image based sexual abuse when she was 14 years old

"Do you know what that does to a young girl?"

Zara McDermott has opened up about her experience with image based sexual abuse when she was in school and how she felt she was "blamed" for the incident.

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The reality TV and Love Island star is working on a new documentary about so-called "revenge porn" with the BBC, in which she goes into detail about being suspended from school when she was 14 years old after a boy she knew shared intimate photos of her.

 

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A post shared by Zara McDermott (@zara_mcdermott)

Zara told The Times she contemplated suicide after the incident. "People don't realise when something like this happens, it affects the whole family," she said.

"My teachers just washed their hands of me. Drilling it into me, constantly blaming me. Do you know what that does to a young girl?"

Zara attended Coopers' Company and Coborn School in Upminster, east London which has since changed the way they handle image based sexual abuse. They now have "specific policies for peer on peer abuse and clear procedures for sexting incidents."

Zara's experience in school wasn't the only time she had to deal with private images other being leaked online. When she left Love Island in 2018, further intimate images were also released without her consent.

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A post shared by Zara McDermott (@zara_mcdermott)

"Notably, when I came out of Love Island, and came out to images of me, what felt like, circulating around the whole world. It was one of the hardest things I went through in my whole life," she said.

The star announced the news about her new documentary on Instagram saying: "Some of you may be aware that I have been a victim of Image Based Sexual Abuse, which is also known as Revenge Porn."

"For those of you who don't know what this is, it's basically when one person shares intimate images of videos of another person without their consent... I am really humbled and honoured to announce that the BBC and I are currently making a documentary to share my story."

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"My main aim is to bring awareness to this issue, and be a voice for those who have suffered in silence and to help make a change. I am sharing my story and being my most vulnerable, emotional and raw."

The sharing of intimate images without a person's consent was made illegal in Ireland just this month.