Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples
This guide shows you what to do if someone shares an intimate image of you without your consent.
It also shows how you can support someone in your mob if they have experienced image-based abuse.
What is image-based abuse?
Image-based abuse is when someone shares, or threatens to share, an intimate photo or video online of you without your consent.
The images can be real photos or videos, or ones that have been changed or altered, for example, Photoshopped.
It is also image-based abuse if someone threatens to share an intimate image of you without your permission.
Examples of image-based abuse include:
- Your ex-partner sharing an intimate image of you on Facebook without your consent.
- Someone altering an image of you to make you appear naked and then emailing it to lots of people.
- An anonymous account threatening to share an intimate image of you on a website or porn site.
How to report image-based abuse
eSafety has legal powers to help protect people who live in Australia from the most serious online abuse and harmful content.
You can report image-based abuse to eSafety. We can help to get the intimate images or video removed and, in some cases, take action against the person who shared it.
Follow these steps to make a report
Learn more about image-based abuse and how to get help and support
We offer detailed advice on image-based abuse, including resources and support for anyone who has experienced image-based abuse, and their friends and family.
Collect evidence and information
To make a report to eSafety, you will need to collect evidence such as screenshots of what has been happening. Read more about how to collect evidence.
Make an image-based abuse report to eSafety
Once you have collected relevant evidence and information, you can start your report.
Are you being blackmailed or threatened?
If someone is threatening to share your intimate images unless you give into their demands, help is available.
Do not give them any money or bitcoin — paying a blackmailer will only result in more demands for payment.
Follow these steps:
- Stop all contact with the blackmailer.
- Take screenshots of the threats and then block the user.
- Read our advice on how to deal with sexual extortion.
How do I support someone this has happened to?
If this has happened to someone in your mob it can be really upsetting.
They may feel ashamed and scared that everyone will see the image and judge them. Try to reassure them that they can talk to you about how they are feeling. Let them know you don’t blame them for what has happened.
It is important not to blame someone if an intimate image of them has been shared as this could make them feel worse.
Let them know you support them. Let them know you don’t blame them.
One of the most important things you can tell someone in your mob is that it is not their fault and they are not alone. You are there to support them.
What if this has happened to my child or a kid I know?
If your child's intimate photo, or an intimate photo of a kid you know has been posted online, here are some ways to support and help them:
- Make sure they are safe and are not at risk of harming themselves. If they are at risk of immediate harm call Triple Zero (000). Encourage them to contact Kids Helpline on 1800 55 1800.
- Take a deep breath — remember that kids are growing up in a world that is different to ours. The best thing you can do is support and reassure them.
- Never blame or shame them for what they have experienced. Reassure your child that you will always support and love them. This is important and will help to protect their mental health.
- Ask the child what they would say if this happened to their close friend, and help them to say those same kind, caring words to themselves.
- Work through the steps outlined above to report the image to eSafety.
- You can seek advice and support through Parentline and through our online resources for parents and carers. Those resources help parents learn about online risks and topics such as sending nudes, sexting and ‘hard-to-have’ conversations.
- Show them the advice for kids and young people on our website.
Be aware that possessing or sharing images of people under 18 may be a crime, even if you have just taken a screenshot for evidence purposes. For information about relevant laws in Australia, visit Youth Law Australia. You can also read our advice about sharing intimate images in sending nudes and sexting.
Download the guide
Get help and support
Confidential counselling, support and information for people affected by sexual abuse or domestic and family violence. Available 24/7.
All ages. All issues. Phone counselling available all day, every day. Online chat available 7pm to 4am AEST daily.