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Sending nudes and sexting

While sharing intimate images or text messages may seem like innocent flirting, it can have serious social and legal consequences.

Sexting or sending nudes can put you at risk of image-based abuse, which is the sharing of intimate images without your consent. It can also put you at risk of sextortion, a type of blackmail when someone threatens to share intimate images of you unless you give into their demands.

Common types of image-based abuse

 

What to do?

Ask for it to be deleted

If you regret sending an intimate image or video to someone, ask them to delete it. If it is posted online, then un-tag yourself and if you feel able, ask the person who posted it to delete it.

Report it

If someone has posted sexual or naked photos or videos of you online without your permission, this is called image-based abuse. It is never OK.

eSafety can also help you get the image or video removed. Visit our image-based abuse pages for more information about what you can do and how to take action.

You can also report to the service or platform where the photo or video was posted and ask for it to be removed. You can find reporting links in the eSafety Guide.

Stay calm and talk to someone

If the video or image has already spread online, try to stay calm and seek support. It can help to have a free and confidential talk with a counselling or support service. You might also want to talk to your friends or family for support. Find out how to connect with support.

What if someone under the age of 18 is involved?

Research shows that nearly 1 in 3 young people aged 14 to 17 in Australia had some experience of sending, sharing or being asked to share nudes.

Police sometimes need to become involved in sexting cases where taking or sharing sexual images of someone under 18 may be treated as the production and/or distribution of child sexual abuse material, also known as ‘child pornography’.

Creating, possessing or sharing nude images of people under 18 may be a crime, even if it’s a nude selfie. Find out more about the law at Youth Law Australia.

Be mindful that possessing intimate images of someone who is under the age of 18, even if it is for the purposes of collecting evidence, may be an offence. Learn more about collecting evidence in cases of image-based abuse.

Where can I get help and support?

If you are feeling unsafe, or at risk of harm, call Triple Zero (000).

 

Find a counselling and support service that is right for you

 

This page offers general advice. Targeted information is also available for young people, parents, LGBTQI people and for anyone who is experiencing image-based abuse.