Image-based abuse

Alternate terms

  • Revenge porn
  • Non-consensual porn
  • Non-consensual sexual/ nude/ intimate image sharing
  • Technology-facilitated violence
  • Intimate image abuse
  • Cyber exploitation

Image-based abuse is the non-consensual taking, distribution, or threat to distribute, intimate, nude and/or sexual images. It can also be called the non-consensual sharing of intimate images, revenge porn or intimate image abuse.

Some people refer to it as a form of technology-facilitated violence.

Image-based abuse can include activities like ‘up-skirting’ and ‘down-blousing’ or ‘creepshots’. It can also include the altering of images to imply that the person featured in an image is another person (for example, if a victim’s head is Photoshopped onto a porn actor’s body) and the resulting image is shared without consent, this is also image-based abuse.


Alternate terms

  • Target
  • Survivor
  • Impacted person
  • Person who has experience image-based abuse

A victim of image-based abuse is someone whose intimate, nude or sexual photo or video has been shared online without his or her consent. We recognize that not everyone might identity with the term ‘victim’, but research indicates that this term is preferred by the majority of people who have experienced image-based abuse.


Alternate terms

  • Suspect
  • Offender

A perpetrator is someone who takes, distributes or threatens to distribute intimate, nude and/ or sexual images without the consent of the person in the images.

When making a report to police or a lawyer, this person might also be called a suspect or offender.


In the case of image-based abuse, the images may be photos—including original and Photoshopped images—drawn pictures, and videos.


Consent is when someone agrees to do something. For example, you might agree, or consent, to share your photo online. In image-based abuse it means that someone has shared an intimate, nude or sexual photo or video of you, without your consent.

You can change your mind and remove consent at any time. You may have consented for the image to be taken, but can ask for it not to be shared.


Sexting is when someone sends provocative or sexual photos, messages or videos using a phone or other device.

Domestic or family violence

Domestic or family violence is behaviour that is violent, threatening, coercive, controlling or intended to cause a family or household member to be fearful. It can include:

  • physical, verbal, emotional, sexual or psychological abuse
  • neglect
  • financial abuse
  • stalking
  • harm to an animal or property
  • restricting your spiritual or cultural participation
  • exposing children to the effects of these behaviours

Technology-facilitated abuse, or image-based abuse, is often an extension of domestic or family violence, and may be a way to continue the abuse.


Sextortion is a form of blackmail where a perpetrator tries to get sexual favours, money or some other demand, by threatening to reveal intimate images of someone. They may also request money, additional images, or sexual favours for removing the images online. This is a form of image-based abuse.

Revenge porn websites

These websites are typically online businesses, which encourage users to upload nude or sexual images of others, often with information about the person in the images such as names, addresses and links to personal profiles. Victims may be forced to pay money to remove the images. This is a form of image-based abuse.

Victim blaming

Victim blaming is when the victim of a crime is held responsible for the harm they have experienced. Some people hold outdated attitudes that blame victims of image-based abuse, when blame should fall squarely upon the perpetrators.