Edit ModuleEdit ModuleShow Tags
Edit ModuleShow Tags

With 50 Shades of Silence, Darieth Chisolm Offers Her Voice and Support

The longtime local newscaster’s website and forthcoming documentary, based on her own experience with non-consensual pornography, aim to provide victims with help and support.

Photo Courtesy 50 Shades of Silence


Four years after leaving the anchor desk at WPXI, Darieth Chisolm remains busy with engagements, appearances and life-coaching sessions. She’s an author, a motivational speaker and a podcast host. It’s a fine second act for the Emmy-winning newscaster.

Privately, however, this phase of Chisolm’s life has occurred during an insidious — and misunderstood — form of sexual assault. An ex-boyfriend launched a website full of explicit photos of Chisolm taken without her knowledge as she slept. Using public humiliation as his weapon, her ex attempted to force her back into a relationship.

Chisolm weathered the storm, fought successfully to have the site scrubbed and is pursuing both criminal and civil action. The incident created a drive in her, however, to fight for — and alongside — other survivors of non-consensual pornography, often termed revenge porn or cyber rape.

“I really felt like it was important for me to use my voice — my own talent and gifts and know-how — to work at not only giving myself some relief,” Chisolm says, “[but also] that it would make much more sense to be public about it and help others along the way.”

Now, Chisolm has launched an organization called 50 Shades of Silence, which intends to share her story and provide resources and relief for other victims.

“I may never receive justice in the legal system ... At least I can look for some form of social justice for myself and for others.”

Laws regarding non-consensual pornography often lag behind technology; in some jurisdictions, the legal path to prosecuting against these crimes is murky at best. Attorneys and judges “may not even know what statutes to file under,” Chisolm says; while 38 states have specific laws regarding non-consensual pornography (termed unlawful dissemination of intimate images, it’s a second-degree misdemeanor offense in Pennsylvania), the legislative battle to more fully ensure a day in court for victims is ongoing.

Chisolm’s efforts begin with the launch of the 50 Shades of Silence website, which includes a number of resources for victims, including support and links to legal information as well as guides to having non-consensual pornography removed from websites and social-media networks. 50 Shades of Silence is also the name of an upcoming documentary, in which Chisolm will detail her own experience and explore the scope of the problem.

“It’s my goal to literally sound the alarm, so to speak,” Chisolm says.

To those in similar situations, Chisolm stresses that the first step to take is finding relief from the shame victims of these crimes often experience.

“Release the shame,” she says. “What, for me, felt so much more empowering was to take a stand.

“Reach out and get support. Don’t do this alone.”

Edit ModuleShow Tags
Edit Module

Edit ModuleShow TagsEdit ModuleShow Tags
Edit ModuleShow Tags Edit ModuleShow Tags Edit Module
Edit ModuleShow Tags

The Latest

Mobile Service To Connect Hungry Pitt Students to Free Food

PittGrub app will send folks in need to events with leftovers.

What's It Like When You Go from Laborer to Being The Boss?

Pitt's Institute for Entrepreneurial Excellence has been teaching business strategies to startups and century-old companies for 25 years.

The 400-Word Review: The Equalizer 2

An unnecessary sequel to the Denzel Washington action flick arrives for a quick beat-em-up fix.

The 400-Word Review: Mamma Mia! Here We Go Again

The sequel to the 2008 ABBA musical is far from perfect, but might have enough charm to keep you on board.

You're Going to Be Upside Down a Lot on New Kennywood Coaster

Kennywood has revealed its replacement ride for “The Log Jammer” which will be located in a new portion of the park entitled “Steelers Country.”

Restaurant Review: Poulet Bleu

Richard DeShantz steps it up with a move from Downtown to Lawrenceville and shows Pittsburgh how to make French dining fun.

Pittsburgh to Host Nation’s First Black Beer Festival

Day Bracey and Ed Bailey of Drinking Partners Podcast and Mike Potter of Black Brew Culture online magazine will bring 12 black-owned breweries to Pittsburgh in August for Fresh Fest.

Coming Clean: Why We Aren't a Green City ... Yet

Pittsburgh is no longer a smoky city, but that doesn’t mean it has cleaned up its act. Pittsburgh's air quality still ranks among the worst in the nation. What steps are being taken to reduce Pittsburgh's ongoing dependence on fossil fuels?

Ultimate Comfort Food: The Joy of Dumplings

Why our dining critic thinks dumplings might be his ultimate comfort food.

Our Seven Favorite Dumplings in Pittsburgh

Pittsburgh, of course, is best known for the pierogi. Our love of dumplings extends beyond that, however. These seven dumplings are our favorite restaurant versions of their various styles.

The Tailor's Dumpling: Kreplach

A Pittsburgh chef and his family continue to craft a family recipe with roots in Poland.

The Pittsburgh Region's Top Dentists 2018

Our annual list, which contains 376 dentists across 11 specialties, as determined by topDENTISTS.

A Weekend Mission of Mercy in Pittsburgh

More than a thousand people come to PPG Paints Arena once a year for free dental care, thanks to an ambitious, all-volunteer effort.

Jump Into the River: Open Waters Beckons Strong Swimmers

It takes a strong swimmer and the right timing to dive into the three rivers. for those up to it, the difference between the pool and open water is profound.

Pirates Are Still a Long Way From a Hollywood Ending

Despite an 8-1 winning streak going into the All-Star break, the Bucs are in desperate need of a sequel, not only to win back some credibility with fans, but also to convince their owner not to sell off more pieces of the team.