Imagine waking up one day to find nude pictures and videos of you online. Images that you weren’t aware existed, did not approve of and have no control of removing. The person who committed this atrocious act, you once lived with and loved, lives in a different country and wants to humiliate you and destroy your reputation – and no legislation can ensure those pictures are removed.
Emmy award-winning television personality, business coach and author Darieth Chisolm, found herself at the very center of such an assault. She was cyberstalked and cyber raped by an ex-boyfriend, who constructed a website with harassing memes, nude photos and videos that she was unaware of and taken while she was asleep, while living with him. He also threatened to kill her if she didn’t return to the controlling relationship.
“He couldn’t kill me so he used a different weapon: his cell phone, loaded it with my naked body and fired it for the world to see,” stated Darieth. She is seeking civil and criminal charges, but is stalled by a legal and justice system that is archaic and not prepared to protect thousands of cybercrime victims, especially those involving international perpetrators. The website has since been shut down but the emotional scar is far from over.
After months of isolation, suffering in shame and silence, Darieth rose from a very humiliating, painful and potentially professionally damaging incident to tell her story and build a global movement called 50 Shades of Silence to bring voice and dignity to victims of cyber harassment and online crimes. As a sought after speaker, author and business coach, she is now using her voice to give other survivors the freedom to do the same.
Specifically, as the founder, creator and director of 50 Shades of Silence, Darieth aims to advocate for stricter laws and tougher enforcement for cyber sexual crimes; encourage the accountability and responsiveness among online companies; promote social responsibility for texting, posting and sharing online; and restore dignity and respect to victims and survivors.
Darieth has been recognized as one of the Top 10 Trailblazers in Communications by Walker’s Legacy and was also nominated as Entrepreneur of the Year with Style Week in Pittsburgh. Her YouTube channel and online video podcast series, Hustle & Heart TV, was a Top 10 Finalist for the 2015 Podcast Awards for Best Video Podcast, and was ranked #1 on iTunes for more than two months with subscribers and viewers in multiple countries. Most recently she was a recipient of the 2016 Shero Award from SheSpeaks Global and is a contributing writer for Inspiring Lives and Women of More magazines.