Victims of hidden cameras need sympathetic attitude from public

June 28, 2024 - 10:26
The victim's psychological well-being may be further hurt by the way netizens responded, which, if negative, can have the power to harm the victims even more severely than the initial crime.
The hidden camera following Châu Bùi was found in a watch. — Photo courtesy of Châu Bùi

Dương Nguyễn

HÀ NỘI — A famous Vietnamese fashionista recently discovered a hidden camera in a restroom at a studio in HCM City which was filming her while she changed outfits.

A male studio employee admitted to the police that he had hidden the camera inside the room, disguised within a watch.

Châu Bùi, the victim, said she was frozen with fear when discovering the camera.

"I was really shocked and speechless when I saw sensitive images of my body being recorded extremely clearly while changing clothes," she wrote on her personal Facebook page.

"I still find it hard to imagine how these images would have been used if I hadn't found them in time," she said.

“It's really very scary. How will I handle that? What will be the repercussions?”

Following the post, Châu's followers and colleagues expressed their sympathies and the majority of respondents expressed their outrage at the male employee's despicable actions.

Personally, I too feel bad for Châu.

I feel disgusted at the man hiding the camera and wonder how many times he has done the same thing at the studio described to being well-known among local celebrities.

I have been more disturbed by netizens’ comments which ask for the links of Châu’s sensitive images extracted from the hidden camera. Some attempt to boost engagement on social media by claiming to have the links.

Actually, after checking, Châu Bùi's team discovered that the watch runs on batteries and needs to be plugged in to download files so any direct viewing or streaming of the recorded photos is not possible.

My anger over netizens’ curiosity and those who have taken advantage of Châu’s incidents have been multiplied, much more than the anger over the pervert.

Châu has requested police assistance in order to look into the matter more and he will face the consequences of the law.

But the reaction of some netizens also deserves to be condemned.

Châu said: "I don't know how I would have survived if I hadn't seen that camera today. It truly has the power to ruin someone else.”

Anybody's life can be destroyed by a hidden camera, not only famous people, should we all unintentionally become victims in the future.

The victim's psychological well-being may be negatively impacted for some time by the way netizens respond to the occurrence. If the responses are negative, they have the power to severely harm the victims more severely than the pervert's own actions.

Châu Bùi is not alone

The fear of being secretly followed among us remains evident than ever. A few days after Châu's story went viral, a 58-year-old landlord of rental houses in Hà Nội was accused of installing three sets of cameras in the bathrooms of his female renters in order to monitor them.

The landlord confessed to the police that he installed the cameras in June 2023, which means the tenants have been followed over a whole year, without knowing anything.

He said he often watches live on his phone or saves the footages on the camera app for review. He promised not to have been distributing or sharing these images and videos with anyone or posting them on social networks.

In the past, other well-known Vietnamese figures have also suffered when private images and footages of them were leaked to the public by people with bad intentions.

Singer Văn Mai Hương went through a tough time in her career when the CCTV at her house was hacked and the images of her wearing lingerie, changing clothes were leaked.

In 2020, a video of Gen Z singer Amee was quickly spread online, recording her wearing pajamas, exercising in a private room with friends and accidentally revealing a sensitive moment.

Both singers say they were almost destroyed.

I believe that you or me, if we are in the same circumstance, we all feel awful.

We always have a need to keep our bodies private. Having someone see your secret is really scary. This must be a huge trauma for anyone.

Psychologists claimed that videos from covert cameras that are widely shared might cause severe trauma to victims. Post-traumatic stress disorder, anxiety and phobias are just a few of the major, long-term effects that can arise from this horrific experience if victims are not helped and are unable to recover.

In Châu Bùi’s case, many reacted that as a Key Opinion Leader, she wants to protect her personal dignity and has made everything more serious when reporting to the police.

But I believe that to be nothing more than a basic self-defence behaviour against the worry of privacy infringement.

No matter you are a celebrity or an ordinary person, is all instinctive human fear.

Nobody who has had their privacy violated should be made fun of. They should be protected by the community by act of condemnation, with awareness, kind attitude and civilised mindset. That is the secret to punishing perverts, in addition to the laws. — VNS