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.

Impacts and needs

Image-based abuse – impacts and needs

A high proportion of those targeted by image-based abuse have suffered serious impacts.

11% of online Australians 18+ have had a nude or sexual photo/video posted online or sent on without their consent.

What did victims feel and how were they affected by recent image-based abuse?

How they felt:

  • Annoyed, 65%
  • Angry, 64%
  • Humiliated, 55%
  • Depressed, 40%
  • Afraid for their safety, 32%

How they were negatively affected:

  • Self-esteem, 42%
  • Mental health, 41%
  • Physical well-being, 33%

Image-based abuse had various negative impacts on victims' lives:

  • Relationship with friends, 33%
  • Intimate/sexual relationships, 28%
  • Performance at work or study, 28%
  • Relationships with family, 27%

Victims feared their images may be discovered by their:

  • Friends, 51%
  • Family, 48%
  • Employer, 41%
  • Intimate partner, 40%
  • Childre, 39%

Finding information and support *

Nearly 8 in 10 adult Australians would not know where to go if they became a victim of image-based abuse. Only 22% of adults identified the following sources of help and support:

  • Police, 71%
  • ACORN (Australian Cybercrime Online Reporting Network), 46%
  • Support services, 36%
  • Parents, family and/or friends, 36%
  • Online search, 27%
  • Lawyer, 25%
  • eSafety Commissioner, 23%
  • Website/social media help centre, 22%

What information or support would be helpful?*

  • How to get the image removed, 72%
  • How to report it, 68%
  • Information on laws relating to sharing of nude or sexual photos/videos, 62%
  • Referral to support services, 45%
  • How to manage the impact of image-based abuse, 43%

Willingness to report or seek advice*

  • Comfortable reporting, 6 in 10
  • Comfortable seeking information and advice, 5 in 10

*Question asked of all respondents, whether or not they had been a victim of image-based abuse

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