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Managing the impacts of image-based abuse

It can be very stressful when an intimate image or video of you has been shared, or someone has threatened to share it. But you’re not alone and help is available.

This page gives you tips on taking care of yourself and getting support so you can limit the impact of image-based abuse.

On this page:

How to report image-based abuse, including ‘revenge porn’ and ‘sextortion’

If someone shares or threatens to share an intimate image or video of you, eSafety can help have the intimate content removed or stop the threats. Report it online and find out more about how to prevent it being uploaded elsewhere


If you are being blackmailed, do not pay or give them more money or intimate content – stop all contact with the blackmailer and follow the steps on our page about How to deal with sexual extortion.

How image-based abuse can affect your wellbeing

Everyone’s experience of image-based abuse is different. Some people we have helped said they felt betrayed, broken-hearted, scared, angry or humiliated. Others felt ashamed or embarrassed, especially if they were scammed into sharing nude or sexual content. Young people were worried they would be in trouble if their family or school found out. 

All these feelings are normal.

It's important to remember what’s happened is not your fault. Even if you sent the image or video to the other person in the first place, or agreed to get sexual with them in a live chat, they have no right to share it with others.

Also, you’re not alone. Image-based abuse, including ‘revenge porn’ and ‘sextortion’, can affect people of all ages, cultures, religions, genders, sexual orientations, education levels and bank balances.

The experience can impact your sense of safety, trust and self-esteem, especially if other people keep seeing the images or videos online – this is why eSafety helps remove them. 

We know from the people we’ve helped that things can get better with non-judgemental support. 

Reach out for support

It can be hard to ask for help, but talking with someone else about what’s happened can make a big difference.

Tell someone you trust

Telling a friend, family member, co-worker or someone else you trust can help you feel heard and supported, easing the stress. They may also give you practical support, like help filling out eSafety’s online report form.

Try to make sure they have enough time to focus on you without distractions, and that you’re in a space where you feel safe and comfortable when you tell them. Keep in mind that different people may respond to you in different ways. Some might be shocked, upset or angry. If this happens, remember that you’re not to blame for what’s happened and ask them to focus on what you need help with now.

If you find it difficult to start the conversation, or they want more information, you could show them our advice about How to help someone deal with image-based abuse.

Contact a counselling and support service

Contacting an expert counselling and support service is a good idea, especially if you’re not sure a friend or family member can help you.

Counselling and support services include crisis hotlines that can give you free and confidential advice any time of the day or night, through to services that provide regular and ongoing support from a counsellor or psychologist. 

Finding help is important if you’re anxious or depressed, or feel like things are getting too hard for you. Signs to watch out for include changes in your mood, sleep patterns, energy levels and appetite. Not feeling like socialising (or going to school or work) can also be a sign that it’s time to get more help.

ReachOut has helpful advice about how to choose the right mental health professional.

Stay safe

Emergency help in Australia, any time of the day or night

If your life or safety is at risk and you need urgent help Triple Zero (000).


If you’re having thoughts about suicide or self-harm call Lifeline on 13 11 14 or the Suicide Call Back Service on 1300 659 467.

You can also get help and support from one of these counselling services


Confidential, culturally safe crisis support line for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples. Available all day, every day.


Confidential counselling, support and information for people affected by sexual abuse or domestic and family violence. Available 24/7.


All ages. Counselling and referral for people who are lesbian, gay, bisexual, trans, queer and/or intersex. Phone counselling and online chat available every day from 3pm to 12am.

Kids Helpline

5 to 25 year olds. All issues. Confidential phone counselling available all day, every day. Online chat available 24/7, 365 days a year.

More support services

Tips for taking care of yourself online and offline

  1. Stay socially connected

    It’s common to avoid other people when you’re worried, embarrassed or feeling down. But if you stop talking and mixing with others you can start to feel left out and isolated, online and offline. 

  2. Reclaim your space online

    Many people feel worried about going online again after a bad experience, but you have every right to be there. To make it easier, you might like to change your device or account settings so only a small group of people can contact you at first. You could also ask a friend to join you online. For example, you could scroll your favourite posts with them or play your favourite game together (or teach them how to play it).

    You could even set up times for them to check in on you by direct message while you’re online, until you get your confidence back. Don’t be afraid to respond to negative comments with a positive attitude. You can set the standard for positive online behaviour by communicating with respect, tolerance and empathy.

  3. Create a safe space offline

    You could set aside an internet-free zone in your home. For example, try keeping your phone and other devices out of your bedroom, especially at night. Also, switch off your devices or notifications at certain times of the day, such as when you’re studying or working.

Explore more information

It may be helpful to find out how other people have dealt with image-based abuse. The real stories others have told eSafety can be a good reminder that you’re not alone. 

You can also follow the links to further advice about preventing and dealing with online abuse, suited to your own situation.

This may help you feel more in control, now and in the future.

If you’re supporting someone else:

Find out how to prevent the intimate images or videos being shared elsewhere:

Last updated: 01/06/2023