Chrissy Chambers, known for her YouTube channel BriaAndChrissy, was the victim of revenge porn and shared her story about how she found strength during her darkest times.
“Revisiting this is, of course, it is painful for me, but I know staying silent would hurt much worse,” Chambers said.
Chambers and her ex-boyfriend had been dealing with problems in their relationship and she suggested they take a break to have some time apart and work through their issues. She said he was furious at her and their relationship felt very toxic. He chose to return to the UK but said they should spend one last night together before he left. It was during this night that Chambers’ life would change forever. She was underage at the time and her ex-boyfriend, who was six years older, provided her alcohol and she said she got “blackout” drunk.
Four years later, she would find out he had recorded himself having sex with her while she laid unconscious on the bed.
Following her breakup, Chambers began dating and eventually married Bria Michelle Kam. They started a YouTube channel together and began posting videos about music, comedy, LGBTQIA+ rights and other social issues. Her life remained relatively normal for the time being.
“We tried to create a safe space for people to be themselves and within just a couple of years we were some of the most popular lesbian content creators on the platform,” Chambers said. “We used our platform to spread awareness about LGBT issues and loving yourself.”
Four years had gone by since Chambers and her ex-boyfriend had broken up, and that was when the videos were posted. He shared seven videos of himself having sex with her from that last night together and they were posted on roughly 30 porn websites. When she got word of the videos, which she did not have any idea existed before this day, Chambers was in denial and said it did not seem real. She began receiving awful messages and comments posted on her YouTube videos. However, she was required to stay silent due to an active police investigation taking place.
“That silence eats you alive.”
“That silence eats you alive,” Chambers said. “Two years was a really long time to not be able to speak up for myself.”
During this period of silence, Chambers suffered from sleep paralysis, alcoholism, depression, anxiety and post-traumatic stress disorder. She credits therapy for saving her life.
“Therapy helped me get my life back and I was able to start living again,” Chambers said. “I knew I had to fight back, and I am really, really glad that I did because I feel that has given me a sense of purpose to try to make a difference.”
At the time of her case, there were no laws that said revenge porn was illegal. Chambers set out to change this so other people who found themselves in this situation would not get turned away from law enforcement like she did. Chambers contacted Ann Olivarius, an American-British lawyer who specializes in sexual harassment and sexual discrimination cases, to help fight her case. She said Olivarius is her hero and a champion of women’s rights who helped her use her platform to fight for justice.
“Ann warned us this was going to be really hard but that, if we all worked together, maybe we could change these laws and so right away we knew we were in the right hands,” Chambers said. “We just kept fighting.”
Chambers said she knew, from the moment the videos were posted, she needed to share her story and use her platform to help other people. Since then, Chambers has continued to speak out to make a difference and work toward creating meaningful change regarding laws against revenge porn. According to the Cyber Civil Rights Initiative, 46 states, the District of Columbia and one territory now have revenge porn laws. Chambers continues to deal with the trauma of the videos, but she has a strong support system that has allowed her to be happy again.
“It took a really long time for me to feel happy again, but eventually, with the help of my family, friends and therapy, I was able to find the strength,” Chambers said.