Alexa ‘Fat Girl’ of sex video now the inspiration of ‘Olimpia Law’

‘Fat Girl’ of sex video now the inspiration of ‘Olimpia Law’

Abdur Rahman Rahaddaily-bangladesh.com

Published: 21:05 12 October 2019   Updated: 21:15 12 October 2019

Olimpia Coral Melo Cruz

Olimpia Coral Melo Cruz

Olimpia, an 18-year-old girl captured a video of intimate moments she spends with her boyfriend. It was their memory of deep love. But did she ever think that this video would be the curse of her life? The nude video of the teenager went viral on social media. The man with the whom she had a six-year-long affair had cheated with her.

Olimpia Coral Melo Cruz was 18 when a sex video ended her reputation as a promising girl. Everyone in her small town, Huauchinango in Puebla in central Mexico, talked about the video where she was naked. She was known as ‘Attractive Fat Girl’ after the video went viral. But her boyfriend, with whom she made the video, has denied that it was he who disclosed it.

Olimpia locked herself in the house for eight months and even tried to commit suicide on three occasions. But, after a long process, she understood that she was the victim of a type of violence, although it took her a long time to identify her.

She studied on the subject and wrote a law initiative. Now, backed by women from all over Mexico, it has made the Law on crimes against sexual intimacy, known as the ‘Olimpia Law’, will be passed in 11 of the 31 states of Mexico. Today we will talk about her personal experiences - 

When I was 18, I recorded a sex video with my boyfriend I had been with for six years. I don’t know how that video went viral through WhatsApp, in which my body looked naked but my boyfriend was not identified. People talked about me. And my boyfriend left me alone. He denied it was him because he was ashamed, Olimpia said.

The sale of a local newspaper has increased when they decorated the page with my body and said that a girl, who had a future, was burned in social networks.

Every day they reached my social network requests from men asking for sex. And then, when the scandal got bigger, ‘The Fat of Puebla’, she also said.

According to studies, 63 percent of Mexican women over 15 have suffered some type of violence. “I felt that my life was over. I locked myself in my house for eight months and I dared not to go out.”

Basically, everything had happened in the digital realm, so it seemed that nothing had happened. “How would I defend myself if I had recorded the video myself?”

I wanted to kill myself on three occasions. In one of them, I was about to throw myself off a bridge when luckily a friend passed by and got out of the car where I was going to wonder how he was. I don’t know if he noticed, but it saved my life.

My mother, who didn’t use the internet, didn’t know about the video and I thought it would take time to discover it. I told her there was a rumor about a video, but it wasn’t me.

But one Sunday in which all my family members gathered in the house, my 14-year-old brother arrived from the street and threw his phone in the middle of everyone. He showed that video to everyone and said, “That video of my sister does exist and it is Olimpia.”

My mom started to cry. It was the saddest day of my life. I pounced at my mom’s feet and apologized to her and my whole family on her knees. I felt guilty. I told them that “I wanted to die, which will help me die”.

But my mother, a woman from an indigenous community who had not finished high school, who does not know or write, surprised me.

She raised my head and told me looking into my eyes: “Having sex is very common to us; we all are used to sex. Your cousin takes, your sister takes and me too. The difference is that your very personal moment has become public through the video. That doesn’t make you a bad person or a criminal.”

My mom continued. “You just enjoyed your sex life as anyone does and there is proof of that. Shame would you have stolen or killed even mistreated a dog.”

There I met the sorority, that women are very powerful. Though, I am aware that not all young women have the advantage of having a mother like mine, who supported me in such hard times. Most of them are rejected by their families, in their centers of study or work for the simple fact of having a sexual life.

My mother disconnected the phone and the internet from the house. It protected me from the outside world. She let me know that I was safe inside. But people outside talked about me. They came to knock on the door of my house and say they had heard about the video.

People have no idea what causes that kind of violence. They limit your freedom, your privacy, your mobility, your life. And you accept it because you think you are guilty. That is why access to justice is almost impossible.

Every ‘like’ to those posts is aggression; every ‘like’ is a hit. Every time someone shares the intimate content of a person who didn’t allow it, it’s like a violation. They didn’t penetrate me, but they were raping me because they used my body in the digital platform.

I thought that I would never leave my house again. Alone I saw the world through a window. But two things made me get out of there. One, that a friend called me and asked me to see the pages where they made fun of other women. “So you can see that you are not the only one that they make fun of others just because. You know oratory and you have a voice. You have to do something with that,” she insisted.

Many intimate videos are shared on the internet without women’s consent. But, what outraged me most was that there was a photograph of a girl with Down syndrome. Someone commented in that picture that his face didn’t matter, that it could be used sexually. That’s when I said ‘it can’t be’.

The other event that made me change was that in the same newspaper that had made fun of me, they published the case of a woman who had stolen 40 pairs of shoes. And when I was looking out the window, I saw that woman pass by. “Everyone criticized her.”

First I thought I was not going out so they wouldn’t do the same to me. Although violence happens on the internet, it affects its victims in real life.

But then I think “If she who stole goes out, why don’t me?” What I did was against myself, I didn’t harm anyone else. I had no feminist theory, but I began to understand that I was not to blame. That same day I asked to be taken to the Public Ministry to file a complaint. There, they tried to access justice by watching the video.

The officer in charge of attending asked me to watch the video. And he started laughing. For the first time, someone saw it in my face and I saw how it tasted. “You were neither drugged nor raped. According to the penal code, there is no crime,” he told me. I left that place with anger.

I fell asleep thinking and woke up thinking ‘How is there no crime?’ I started to contact other girls who had been shown on the internet. I explained that I had no idea what that crime was called, that I had no idea what we were going to do, but that we had to do something.

But little by little we made things clear. We did a reform project for Puebla. Many advised me that I better not do it. That meant I would have to accept my video. But everyone already knew me and knew my naked body. I knew that for me that was not going to bring justice, because justice is not retroactive.

But, I thought of all the girls that were having that happen to, in all those who like me would be thinking about committing suicide. The first name we gave it was ‘Reforma to Recognize Cyber Sexual Violence’ and we presented it in a citizen proposal forum.

When I entered the Municipal Palace of Puebla, everyone started whispering. It was March 2014. I was barely 19 years old. I told them that I was Olympia, that it was my sex video and that there were more victims of this type of violence. I demonstrated with screenshots that some who were there had shared and ‘liked’ my video on social networks. ‘You are the criminals, not me,’ I told them. I am no longer ashamed to have two breasts. I am no longer ashamed to live my sexuality. That moment empowered me a lot.

The Facebook page that had shared my video closed because of a crazy.

But the road was still long. A deputy said he could not support my law because it would seem approving the boldness. It was until 2018 that the reform of crimes against sexual intimacy was approved in the penal code.

They integrate the law into three reforms. It implies that crimes against privacy are recognized, that is the dissemination of intimate content without consent; cyberbullying, which is sexual violence on the internet and finally, the access law.

The latter is for institutions to become aware of what sexual rights are and what violence is and to let citizens know. For example, many believe that sexting is violence. But they are wrong: “Sexting it is a sexual right. The crime is to share it without consent.”

Regardless of whether they accept it morally or not, institutions must tell young people how to have a safe online sex life. So after years of attempts, the law was passed in Puebla, which was my goal. Later it was approved in other states of Mexico. Today, the different points of the reform have been already approved in 11 states.

But it is not just reform, but a cause. We want to raise awareness, prevent and eradicate this violence. We want to be safe on the internet. Let it be clear that the virtual is real. With a group of women, we created the National Front for Sorority, which deals with cases and we try to ensure that conditions exist for women to master technologies and thus prevent digital violence. “We want victims not to feel alone.”

The reform began to be known as ‘Olimpia Law’ when a journalist put it like that in a note. First I laughed, but then I realized that for me, far from recognition, it is a matter of deconstruction.

I am no longer ‘The Fat of Puebla’. Now my name is associated with a law that penalizes internet abuse.

DailyBangladesh/Adnan