Tips on how to stay safe online during the COVID-19 pandemic

COVID-19 Alert

Due to the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) it may take longer than usual to address all reports or enquiries made with our investigation teams.

Please continue to submit reports and we will review them as soon as possible.

If you are worried about your safety or are at risk of harm right now contact police immediately by calling Triple Zero (000).

If you need someone to talk to and are under 25, contact Kids Helpline (1800 55 1800).
For all other ages, contact Lifeline on 13 11 14.


Image-based abuse — bystanders

Bystanders have an important role to play in combatting image-based abuse.

Bystanders to image-based abuse

  • 19% of online Australians 18+ received a nude or sexual image/video that was shared without the consent of the person depicted or they were unsure of consent

Younger people were more likely to be bystanders

  • 22% of women 18 to 45, 9% of women 46+
  • 28% of men 18 to 45, 16% of men 46+

How did bystanders feel when receiving image-based abuse material?

  • Uncomfortable, 40%
  • OK with it, 18%
  • Angry, 17%
  • Annoyed, 16%
  • Nothing, 15%
  • Thought it was funny, 7%

What actions did bystanders take?

  • 44% didn’t do or say anything
  • 34% said something (not specified) to the person who shared the photo/video
  • 9% prefer not to say
  • 7% wanted to say or do something, but didn’t know what
  • 7% told the person in the photo/video
  • 3% reported it to a relevant authority
  • 1% sought advice from others

Source: Research commissioned by eSafety, May 2017. Respondents comprised 3,216 online women aged 15+ and 903 online men aged 18+ in Australia.