Sexting and sending nudes
Sexting and sending nudes is no joke.
It’s not OK if someone shares – or says they will share – a nude or sexual image or video of you, without your consent. This is known as image-based abuse or revenge porn.
If this happens to you, eSafety can help.
On this page:
Dealing with image-based abuse
Technology is a great way to stay in touch with mob, but sometimes people use it to hurt others, like with image-based abuse.
This is when someone shares an intimate image or video of you without your permission.
These images can be real photos or videos.
They can also be ones that have been changed, or ones that pretend to be you.
Experiencing image-based abuse can be scary and it's never OK.
But you're not alone, and there are steps you can take.
If this happens to you, remember to take pictures or screenshots.
You should report this kind of abuse directly to eSafety, as they can sometimes help remove this type of content, and remember not to block whoever is causing the abuse until you get the go ahead from eSafety or the police so they can collect all the evidence.
You should also change your privacy and security settings so you only connect with people you know and trust.
The eSafety website has tips on how to make a report and be safe online.
You can also speak with your local ACCO, Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Health Organisation or legal service for further advice.
Let's take care of ourselves and each other so we can all stay safe online.
Video: Someone has shared my nudes
How can eSafety help?
If someone shares – or says they will share – a nude or sexual image of you online without your consent, we can help to get it taken down. In some cases, we can also help you with legal action against the person.
The sexual images could be:
- real photos or videos (including memes)
- fakes made to look like you.
They might show:
- a person nude or partly naked – such as a naked selfie or a topless photo of a female or non-binary person
- private parts of someone’s body – even if they have underwear, including ‘upskirt’ shots
- a private activity – such as undressing, using the toilet, showering, bathing or having sex.
Bud and Johno are riding the bus with their football team, The East Side Tigers. They are headed to a game.
Bud: Hey, look at this.
Coach: Sit down, shut up and stay focused! Don't fool yourselves, boys. The Emus are going to be hard to beat.
The players arrive at the game and file off the bus.
Elder: Come on, boys. Go in hard, head over the ball, and tackle, tackle, tackle!
Johno: Righto, Unc!
Sharlise: Hey, good luck, cuz.
The Tigers and Emus play against each other. Bud lands in dog poo trying to catch a ball. He takes his shirt off and Sharlise whistles and claps. Bud kicks a winning goal for the Tigers. As the players head back to the bus, Bud passes Sharlise and friend Kellie.
Crowd member: Look there! [Laughs]
Sharlise: Bud, that was proper deadly.
Bud: Thanks. Wanna give me your number?
Bud: Or better yet, I'll give you mine.
[From the bus] Sharlise! Send me something real good so I'll remember who you are.
Kellie: You're not going to send that. Are you?
Sharlise: Yeah. It's only for Bud.
Back on the bus, Johno sees that Puddy has been sent a nude of Sharlise.
Johno: Hey! That's my cousin, you dog.
Puddy: Oh sorry, bros. Ricky sent it to me.
Johno: Rick, you sending photos of my little cousin to everyone?
Ricky: Hey, don't blame me. Talk to the dog poo dude over there.
Bud: Settle down, bro. All the girls on your phone are someone else's cousins or sister.
Johno: Delete it now!
Bud: Don't go getting all gangster on me.
A fight breaks out between all the players on the bus.
Coach: Hey! What's going on?
Johno tries to take Bud's phone to delete the photo of Sharlise. The phone flies out the bus window and smashes on the ground.
Bud: Ah, that's brutal.
For more information on sexting, visit the eSafety website, esafety.gov.au
Narrator: Think twice about sharing sexy pics.
Keep it private.
Video: That's not team spirit
It’s important to remember
Taking or sharing sexual images or videos of someone under 18 can be illegal – even if you’re both young and agree to it. Find out more at Youth Law Australia.
What can I do?
Before you do anything else
It’s a good idea to tell a support worker or someone else you trust. They can help you to report the situation.
Take screenshots or record when and where the image or video was shared, (but not of the image or video itself, because this can be a crime). Keep a record of the web page address (URL) and the other person’s user profile.
Show this as proof when you make your report. Find out more about how to collect evidence.
If someone shares – or says they will share – an intimate image or video of you, eSafety can help have the content removed or stop the threats.
If you're being blackmailed
If someone says they will share your sexual images or videos, unless you send them money or more nudes, it’s called ‘sexual extortion’.
DO NOT PAY or give them more. Stop all contact with the blackmailer.
If you’re under 18 and being blackmailed, report this serious crime to the Australian Centre to Counter Child Exploitation.
If you’re 18 or older and being blackmailed:
- report it to the service or platform where the blackmailer contacted you
- report it to eSafety if the service or platform doesn’t help.
Ignore, hide or mute the other person’s posts or comments so you don’t keep seeing them.
After collecting evidence, you can also block them through your account or on your device. This takes away their power to upset you more. The eSafety Guide can tell you how.
Get more help
It’s not your fault and you’re not alone. You might like to:
- talk to a counselling service for more support
- contact local police if you’re worried about your safety.
With any service, you can ask if an Aboriginal or Torres Strait Islander support worker is available to help you.
How to protect yourself
Sharing nudes doesn’t have to be part of your relationship.
You don’t owe it to another person to show them how much you love them, even if they sent you a nude first.
- how to say ‘no’ when someone is putting pressure on you to send nudes or intimate pictures
- more about connecting safely online.
It happened to me
Chloe’s ex-boyfriend shared nude photos of her with his mates and she turned to her friend for help.
Chloe’s friend Isabelle is scrolling through social media on her phone, she’s sitting in her car waiting for Chloe to arrive.
She sees a post made by Chloe with a funny photo of her and writes the comment ‘damn new tinder profile pic’.
She looks at another photo in her feed of her and Chloe out for a meal and reads a comment on the post from a guy called Cameron that says ‘where was my invite?’ She looks concerned.
She sees Chloe approach and toots the car horn. Chloe gets into the car.
Chloe: [laughing] What is wrong with you?
Isabelle: Bit of payback for that pic you posted.
Chloe: Ohh please, I thought you looked cute.
Isabelle: Hey, I saw Cameron commented on your post. Bit passive aggressive, don't you think?
Isabelle: Hey, what's up?
Chloe: Well, we broke up a month ago and one of his mates told me that he sent him a photo of me.
Chloe: Yeah, oh, this is so embarrassing. It was a nude that I snapped him, ages before we broke up.
Isabelle: How did he show them?
Chloe: He screenshot. He sent it into the group chat. All of his friends are in it.
Isabelle: That's illegal. That's image-based abuse, not to mention the creepiest thing ever.
Chloe: No, it's just, I feel like I've done something wrong when I know I haven't, but it doesn't feel real ‘cause it's online stuff.
Isabelle: It doesn't matter if he's not in the room. Abuse is abuse. Look, there's things we can do. I can help.
Chloe: Like what?
Isabelle: I think you should block him. And make your post private. And there’s eSafety too. We can report it to them.
Chloe: I think I need to speak to the police too.
Isabelle: I think you should. That's a good idea.
Announcer: Online abuse is abuse. For more information visit karadi.org.au and esafety.gov.au.
Video: My nudes have been shared
Marli let her boyfriend take private nude photos of her, but he shared them with everyone on Snapchat.
Hey, you fellas, it's Marli here.
So I want to tell you about my deadly boyfriend.
His name is Chris, and he's so lovely.
I love him heaps.
He cares about me and he always has my back.
For my 21st, he took me out for dinner at this really expensive restaurant in the city and got us a hotel room.
It was so special, but at the end of the night it made me feel a bit weird 'cause he asked to take photos of me.
Photos that were only for him.
I told him I wasn't sure 'cause photos leaked of my cousin once and she was devo, but he kept promising that they would just be for him and he wants something special that's just ours.
I love him so much, and he's my ride or die, and we have gone through so much together.
He says, if I love him. I would do it.
Things are different now.
I can't go outside without people making fun of me and calling me names.
Why'd he have to put them up on Snapchat?
He said, they were only for him.
I'm so angry with him.
He said he loved me.
Whenever I think about it, I just can't think straight.
I felt it in my gut that something wasn't right when he asked me.
I should be with someone who respects me and the way I feel.
I deserve someone who I can trust, and I deserve someone who encourages me to trust myself to.
Trust your gut. If something feels wrong, it usually is, and if things do go wrong, there is help available.
If you think technology is being used to harm you, please contact Djirra for help or eSafety to report image-based abuse.
Video: Everyone on Snapchat saw my nude pictures
Adam hassled his friend for nude pictures and didn't realise it upset her, until he spoke to his cousin.
Mobile phone starts buzzing with a call.
Bro: Ah, hey sis, which way?
Sis: Bro. That small cousin of yours keeps hassling my sister, asking for photos and where she is. She's getting creeped out. Can you have a yarn with him and tell him to knock it off?
Bro: Hey, what? That’s not right. I'm going over to his place later today. I’ll have a yarn with him, hey?
Sis: Hmm, when I was talking to her earlier, I mentioned them three steps.
Bro: What them ones you’re always about? Chat, check, report?
Sis: Yeah, them ones. You should go over them with your small cousin.
Bro: Yeah. What are they again?
Sis: You can't remember?! How many times I've said it? Start the chat. Make sure you have conversations with family and friends around what's appropriate online. Check the settings. Make sure your device is safe and no-one can access your accounts. And report it. If there's anything worrying, write it down and report it.
At Adam's place.
Bro: Hey cuz, what you up to?
Adam: Hey cuz, nothing, just bored.
Bro: Yeah, you've been causing trouble, messing with girls on your phone and freaking them out.
Adam: What, nah! Who said?
Bro: You sure? Stop lying. One of my tidda girls been calling me to say you won't stop hitting her niece up.
Adam: What, nah, we're friends.
Bro: Yeah, you've been trying to get her photos eh, or sending no good stuff to her.
Adam: Hmm, cuz!
Bro: It's not funny, bullyman can get your name, especially if you start sending around nude photos of them young girls. You can get proper big trouble then.
Adam: Hey, what? Trust. It wasn't like that. It was just jokes. I just wanted to get to know her.
Bro: Well, I don't think she been feeling the same way. I can see you like her but bro, you have to think about your actions and treat her with respect. Otherwise it just comes across as harassment hey, and creepy. It might be muck-around to you, but to the other person it can be online bullying.
Adam: I didn't see it like that. Thanks for looking out for me, bro. I'll keep this in mind.
Bro: That's right, bro. But you gotta really think about how you behave online and keep an eye out for your brothers, too. Make sure they're not getting up to no good online.
Adam: Yeah. OK. I will.
Bro: Here, check out this guide for more information.
Video: Keeping our mob safe online
Working with community
Meet Mesharlie, Many Rivers Family Violence Prevention Legal Service, Gurehlgam, in Kempsey NSW.
A recipient of one of our grants as she discusses how they were able to address digital safety in her community.
So I actually did not have a clue about eSafety prior to starting this project, and I did not have a clue about all the online stuff.
I knew there was risk, but I didn't know all the risks.
I just thought [eSafety] was amazing. I just fell in love with the whole thing from the start.
With my Nan, she was actually scammed by a family member, a couple years ago.
So learning about all that, it's been like a real eye opener.
In Kempsey, a lot of people are being scammed by overseas people.
Kids with nudes and stuff – they don't know the risks. The kids would TikTok, Fortnite.
I was speaking to the ladies from Health, and they were saying when DVs, clients come into their service, they can help them within them walls but they don't know how to help them once they leave.
So, with eSafety, we can give them pamphlets and information. That way they can help their clients outside of them walls.
It is important to talk about online safety, so the community is aware of the issues.
I just want to spread the awareness to my community because I feel like they should be aware, not just for themselves, but for their kids and their grandkids.
Like with my niece, she doesn't know the risk, and I don't want her to be on YouTube and TikTok and some old man or some old lady is talking to her and wanting to send inappropriate photos.
That hurts me, you know. It freaks me out knowing that my nieces and nephews are online and they don't know the risks.
Tell us about the PowerPoint and presentation you created for your community.
Because what I notice, a lot of Elders are being scammed, especially with emails.
I think that they can just click on it and it goes to a whole different thing and then they get hacked which they're not aware of.
Then I want to do it for kids with online stuff, because everyone knows the kids are online 24/7, and then I wanted to be for teenagers, for photos and with cyberbullying.
That's why it's a bit all over the shop, but I wanted to include all ages in my PowerPoint.
When leaving the perpetrator, it's kind of rushed.
You think about just grabbing the closest thing possible and just leaving. You don't think about, in the long run, changing your passwords, turning the kids location off or turning your location off.
That's why I thought it'd be good to put that stuff in there, for the DV stuff, because women and men would not be aware of that stuff when leaving the perpetrator.
Tell us about the TikTok you made to raise awareness of eSafety in your community.
Yeah, we just thought because TikTok is such a big social media platform now, so we just thought it'd be best to make a TikTok and we just talk about it.
I think it's Edmund. It says that he's being scammed or bullied, I think.
I'm not sure which one we posted. We made a couple.
I think it's about him being bullied. And I just said, 'Do you know about the eSafety Commissioner? You should go there and report it.'
Any final thoughts?
I don't want anyone to be getting cyberbullied and not doing nothing about it, or sending nudes and not knowing that's gonna be there forever.
Video: Helping people to deal with online abuse
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