I was just advertising on a website for babysitting or dogwalking and other casual jobs while I was at school.
‘Liz’ emailed at first after a few days saying that she had work, and asked if she could get a personal email because she didn’t like the way the website’s interface was, which wasn’t unusual.
I gave her my personal email address and that’s when she put forward the suggestion that she was an artist and wanted to draw life models.
She just wanted to know if I was interested in just a few pictures just for her of me, just for drawing, and that no-one would see them and she would get rid of them once she’d done her drawing.
It was all very peaceful and she said she’d send them to me so I could see them and see if I was happy with them.
The first messages made you feel like you were in control, ‘Liz’ was always saying “it’s up to you” and “I understand if you don’t want to”. They were nice and they didn’t make you think anything was wrong.
I sent some pictures and as soon as she got that she must’ve gone on the internet. She sent a threatening email saying that she’d found me on Facebook, she knew all of my friends and where I went to school.
She would say this is your school, these are your friends, and if you don’t do as I say I’m going to tell everyone.
I’m going to send everyone the pictures, I’m going to send them to your house, to your neighbours, to your school. It was almost as soon as she’d got something she could use, that’s when it turned.
It was messages every day so it felt forever, by the time it finished it felt like it had been a lot longer than it probably had.
Throughout everything it was always from Liz, as a woman, but the worse things got, the more horrific the pictures and images got, it had to be a man.
The first picture wasn’t anything like the things that were to follow. A woman wouldn’t want to see another girl like that. I knew that it was not a woman anymore and that I was being lied to.
It was hard because Liz knew me. There were pictures, which were awful, but there was a lot of intrusive questions about my life and how I felt, and my friends at school, and what was happening at home.
I didn’t tell anyone because I was ashamed. You have heard what the pictures were like, they were awful, and I didn’t want any of my friends to think that I had wanted to do that.
I don’t think people would understand. There was no-one there holding a knife to me saying ‘you have to do this’, but it felt like it.
It was really hard. I didn’t want to go to school then, I didn’t want to stay at home because they knew where I lived.
At school I wasn’t talking to my friends or thinking about what they were saying, I was just checking my phone to see if there was another message. I couldn’t concentrate on anything.
I couldn’t talk to my family because I felt ashamed of what I was doing. I didn’t want to talk to anyone, I didn’t want to go out with my friends because he might be there. I didn’t feel safe anywhere.
Even if he was standing next to me in the street I wouldn’t recognise them. That’s what was scary, not knowing who it was or when they might get bored and send the pictures to all of my friends anyway.
I think I’ll always be scared of meeting new people and scared of sharing. Everyone has things that make them feel more vulnerable and I’ll always be scared of inviting new people into my life.
It’s still been a long time since what happened with Liz and I still feel like that about people today. I don’t talk to my family anymore at all, because I felt like they wouldn’t understand and didn’t understand what had happened to me.
I was ashamed of what I’d done, so I don’t really talk to people from school anymore. I left school and tried to make new friends who weren’t there, even though my friends didn’t know what was going on. All relationships broke down.
But I’ve got my day in court. I know who Liz – Matthew Falder – is. I can see him. He is going to get punished for what he did to me and I want everyone else to have that day.
I want them to tell someone. Tell a friend, tell your parents, tell someone at work, and tell the police, because even if takes some time, they can find these people and they will get punished.