Nedlands resident Noelle Martin helps reform laws after social media posts were photoshopped onto porn

Noelle Martin.
Noelle Martin.

NEDLANDS resident Noelle Martin was just 18 when she realised dozens of images of herself posted on social media were being photoshopped onto porn.

The Macquarie Sydney law graduate had no idea she was a victim of image-based abuse until she Google searched her online activity.

“Out of curiosity I decided to Google myself and this image reverse search lets you look up an image and it tells you where it is on the internet,” she said.

“Regardless of having the strictest privacy settings on my social media someone was collecting my photos for a long time before I found out.

“They would juxtapose me against images saying it’s me, doctoring images of me in all sorts of sexual positions … also editing me into pornographic videos.”

Ms Martin was named West Australian Young Australian of the Year last week for her assistance in implementing image-based abuse laws in Australia.

“I hadn’t even prepared a speech,” she said.

The 24-year-old feminist, activist and law reformist spoke out about her experience to help criminalise distribution of non-consensual intimate images.

“I’m fighting for laws and global change and Australia has criminalised this but the problem is this is a global issue, and there is only so much Australia can do because we’re limited by jurisdiction,” she said.

Ms Martin said having her images used without consent was a form of abuse.

She said she was still being targeted by “cowards sitting behind a screen”.

“It’s been a process of it escalating – at first it was the photos, commentary about how I look, information about where I live, what I studied … there are a couple of dozen pornographic images of me and two jpeg videos,” she said.

“If I tried to get things deleted it would take me the rest of my life.

“I will never get justice for me and that’s something I’ve had to accept – it’s never going to happen, but it’s an issue I’m going to keep fighting.”

Despite still being targeted for image-based abuse, Ms Martin said she refused to change her social media use.

There were times when Ms Martin deleted and deactivated her social accounts but she has currently refused to “by principle”.

“I’m not on private, now that I’ve been speaking out,” she said.Ms Martin’s next goal will be to reach a state of happiness.

“I’ve just been in pain for a lot of years and I don’t want to live life in pain all the time – I just want to be happy,” she said.