Greg and I had been together for five years, but he became violent and abusive and I got help to leave and start a new life.
I usually tell my friend Jane everything. But it took me a long time to tell her about what has happening with Greg. He had always had a temper and he could be really mean and nasty when he was angry. Sometimes he would hold me up against the wall, his face just inches from mine, as he made threats and was abusive. Sometimes he got violent. Afterwards, it was as if nothing had happened.
But I was always really shaken, hurt and upset.
I was scared to tell Jane, as she and her husband Ben were good friends with us. We would go out to the club together. Eventually I told Jane what was happening and she told me about 1800RESPECT. I didn’t think I was strong enough to leave him and I worried about how I would cope financially. But it all became too much, and with Jane’s encouragement and help from a support worker, I made a safety plan and left to start a new life near to where my sister lives.
That’s when Greg took things to another level. After he realised I had left, he started calling and texting me, saying he had nude images of me from when we had first gotten together and that he would make sure everyone I knew saw them. He texted the images to me and said he was going to put them on Facebook.
I didn’t know what to do. The calls and texts kept coming so I blocked his phone number.
My support worker told me about eSafety. She helped me to take screenshots of the messages I had received and fill out their online report form. They contacted me the same day. The investigators at eSafety ending up writing to him and they encouraged me to make a police report. I haven’t heard from him again after that. And maybe he’ll think twice about threatening and abusing anyone else he is involved with.
What May wants others to know
I want anyone who might be going through image-based abuse and domestic violence to know that you should never feel like you have no options. Reporting to eSafety was really helpful. It’s never OK for someone to threaten to share your intimate images, so it’s important to reach out for help if someone does.
*May’s story combines the experiences and emotions of a number of individuals in this situation. Stock photo. Posed by model.
You will find options for support and counselling services below. There are also a number of ways you can take action to try to remove and report abusive images. Help and support is also available for anyone who experiences online abuse, including image-based abuse, as part of domestic and family violence.