West Palm Beach woman takes her struggle to the big screen
WEST PALM BEACH, Fla. (CBS12) —
Online harassment can be a crime and we’re seeing more and more cases each and every day.
One of the main differences between today and years ago is that a flood of victims are coming forward now more than ever.
At the Tribeca Film Festival this weekend in New York City, Tina Reine will be hitting the big screen with two other women sharing their struggles of turning their victimization into taking their power back.
For Reine, it all began with a bad breakup after a 2-year relationship.
Her ex-boyfriend would go after her with a vengeance for years.
It began in 2012 in what was the lowest point of her life.
“Before I broke up, he said, 'If you leave me, I will ruin and destroy you,'” Reine said.
After that, he tried to ruin and destroy her, Reine says, but he failed in the end.
He would create 14 websites, according to Reine. She’d steal all her phone numbers and email addresses from her family, friends, colleagues, former colleagues, former bosses. Practically anyone she could think of got the link.
The infamous link that would lead viewers to unflattering pictures, stories she could never even imagine, and worse.
Describing it, she says he portrayed it as “the truth about Tina Reine" and that it said she spent her life as a prostitute.
Then it was just pages and pages and pages.
“I was so ashamed,” Reine said. “I felt scared. I felt vulnerable.”
CBS12 was allowed to view and use parts of the documentary’s trailer in our broadcast.
“Every time I give out my name, I know I’m going to be judged because I know eventually they’re going to Google me, see what’s there, and going to judge me,” Reine said.
The day before she flies out to New York City for its premiere, Reine sat down exclusively with CBS 12 News to share her struggle.
Reine describes the movie as three lives torn apart by online harassment, but the three women now devoted to fighting back.
Stephanie Myron is a victims’ rights attorney echoes the movie’s sentiments that more victims are coming forward than ever before and part of that is due to the #MeToo movement.
“They don't have that fear of repercussion, of what's going to happen to me if I do speak out," Myron said. "I think the environment and the culture has shifted and so that victims are more willing to come forth and they aren't as fearful and not just of that individual."
As Reine prepares to go to the big screen, she has a message to other victims.
“Reach out and get the support you need because it can be lonely and can be a long road but you will get through it,” Reine says as she recalls the early memories of this life-changing experience.
When it comes to the number of reported cases of online harassment, the outlook is grim as roughly 4 in 10 people claim they’ve been victimized.
The documentary, Netizens, hit the screen at the Tribeca Film Festival on Sunday.
Click here to watch the trailer.