Phone Hack Traumatizes Neighbours Actress

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Australian actress Olympia Valance has fallen victim to a "traumatizing" phone hack that resulted in private images being shared without her consent.

Valance, famed for her appearances on Playing for Keeps and for her role as Paige Smith on TV soap opera Neighbours, issued a statement on Instagram confirming that her smart phone had been broken into.

The 27-year-old star, who is the younger sister of actress and singer Holly Valance, described the cybercrime as a "profound violation" that has had a long-lasting effect on her life.  

"I am writing this as confirmation that I know I have become a victim of cyber-crime,'' she posted on Instagram.

"I have been dealing with this for over a year now since my phone was compromised by a hacking of private images, which were then published online."

For Valance, the cybercrime has resulted in repeated re-victimization that she said has increased her anxiety. 

"I have since had to deal with this again recently, when new images were recirculated, retraumatizing me and pushing my anxiety into a space it has never been," said the actress.

Valance said that efforts by herself and her legal team to stop the spread of the images had not been successful. 

"Such offences involve leaking (in my case hacking) images without consent in order to humiliate, degrade, control and blackmail a person,'' she added.

"As a victim of this, I have had to fight to try and contain these images from reaching the broader public and for media not to publish stories using my name."

Valance said that people should be able to take intimate photographs without fear that someone will steal them and manipulate them for financial gain.

"Taking intimate photos for yourself, or to share with a partner is not a shameful thing to do. Stealing them and sharing them online without consent is," said Valance.

"We have to figure out a way to stand together and say it's hacking and destruction of illegally obtained images, not the taking of them that is shameful."

Valance emphasized that she had done nothing wrong and had nothing to apologize for. 

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