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Report image-based abuse

If someone shares or threatens to share an intimate image or video of you, eSafety can help remove the content or stop the threats. If you’re being blackmailed, don’t pay or give them more – stop all contact with the blackmailer.

Image-based abuse is not your fault and you’re not alone. You can get help by reporting image-based abuse, including ‘revenge porn’ and ‘sextortion’. 

On this page:

What you can report to eSafety

The intimate image or video you are making the report about can show, or appear to show:

  • you nude or partly naked – such as a naked selfie or a topless photo if you identify as female or non-binary
  • your genitals, bottom or breasts – even if you have underwear on (this includes upskirt shots) 
  • you during a private activity – such as undressing, using the toilet, showering, having a bath or getting sexual 
  • you without clothing of religious or cultural significance, if you would normally wear it in public (such as a hijab or turban).

The image or video can be:

  • real
  • altered or faked to look like you
  • shared in a way that makes people think it’s you, even when it’s not (such as a nude of someone else tagged with your name). 

The image or video can be sent, posted or shared using:

  • an online platform or service (such as a social media feed, online game or other app) 
  • a website, such as an image board or porn site
  • a direct message, text message, chat service, email or file transfer (such as AirDrop or Nearby Share).

‘Sextortion' is when someone blackmails you for money or more intimate content. If you’re being blackmailed, stop all contact and don’t pay the blackmailer or give them more money or intimate content. It’s not your fault and there's help available. Go to our specific advice on how to deal with sexual extortion.

 

If you receive an unwelcome intimate image or video of someone else, such as a ‘dick pic’, find out how to deal with unwanted or unsafe contact.

 

If you want to report something else, find out about how eSafety helps with cyberbullying of a child, adult cyber abuse or illegal and restricted content.

Who can report image-based abuse?

You can make a report if:

  • you are the person in the intimate image or video
  • the person in the intimate image or video has asked you to make a report for them
  • you are a parent or guardian of the person in the intimate image or video and they are a child under 16
  • you are a parent or guardian of the person in the intimate image or video and they need help due to a cognitive, mental or physical issue.

Also:

  • the person in the intimate image or video must ordinarily live in Australia OR 
  • the person who sent, posted or shared the intimate image or video, or made the threat to share it, must ordinarily live in Australia.

How eSafety can respond

Once you make an image-based abuse report, we will contact you (or the person you reported it for) as soon as possible – usually in one or two business days. 

  • We will check in and see how you are doing first, so we can make sure you have the emotional support you need.
  • We will usually contact the online platform or service used to send, post or share the intimate image or video or to threaten you. Then we will work with them to get the content removed or stop the threats. This may include removal of the account the other person used.
  • Sometimes we can also take action against the other person. For example, they may be fined or directed to do something specific to prevent them sharing your intimate image or video.

If police are involved, we may need to contact them to check that any evidence needed for your case has been preserved before we have the image or video removed.

When we contact you, you can use these services to help us understand each other:

 

Support in your language 

For help in another language, call the Translating and Interpreting Service on 131 450 from anywhere in Australia (for the cost of a local call).

 

Support for hearing or speech impairment

If you are hearing or speech impaired, please visit the National Relay Service or call 133 677 for TTY and voice calls (for the cost of a local call).

Steps to take

If someone has shared, or threatened to share, your intimate image or video it can be stressful and upsetting. You don’t have to cope on your own. It’s a good idea to tell a friend, family member, co-worker or someone else you trust, so they can help you deal with the situation. Or you can contact a free and confidential counselling and support service.

Then follow these steps…

1. Collect evidence

The reporting form will ask you:

  • what has happened
  • where and when it happened
  • what proof you have. 

Keep a record of:

  • all contact from the person who shared or threatened to share the intimate content, including their username, account handle or platform ID
  • where they contacted you – for example, their Snapchat username, Facebook or Instagram URL (web address) or the Skype name and ID they used
  • when they contacted you, including dates and times
  • any reports you made to the online platform or service or to police
  • anything else that’s relevant.

Taking screenshots, photos or recordings of your device’s screen is a quick and easy way to collect evidence. But don’t save or share nudes or sexual images or videos of anyone under 18 or any other illegal or restricted content. 

Find out how to collect evidence, including how to take screenshots on a Mac, Windows PC, Apple devices or Android devices.

 

2. Report image-based abuse

Fill out the report form to make sure we have the most important information about your case right from the start. This allows us to assess your complaint quickly and decide if we can help remove the content or support you in any other way.

If you’re reporting on behalf of someone else, first make sure they have given you consent.

 

3. Stop further contact, tighten security and prevent sharing

  • Stop all contact with the person who has shared the intimate images or videos or threatened you. 
  • Use in-app functions or your device settings to ignore, hide or mute the other person’s posts or comments. After collecting evidence you can also block them, to take away their power to harass you.
  • Update your privacy settings, to limit who can contact you.

The eSafety Guide has advice on key online safety functions for many online services, including social media, online games and other apps.

Prevent the image or video being shared

You can block your intimate image or video from being uploaded to specific platforms. You need a copy of the image or video, but you don’t need to send it to the platform – you can use an online tool to create a digital ‘fingerprint’ (or ‘hash’) instead.
 
If you’re under 18, you can use takeitdown.ncmec.org – a free online tool that prevents your image or video being shared on platforms such as Facebook, Instagram, TikTok, Yubo, OnlyFans and Pornhub.
 
If you’re 18 or older, you can use StopNCII.org – a free online tool that prevents your image or video being shared on platforms such as FacebookInstagram, TikTok, Bumble, OnlyFans and Reddit.

4. Get more help

What you’re going through is not easy. Even when it’s over, you may need more support.

Report now

You can read eSafety’s privacy policy and collection notification to find out how we handle your information.

If you’re being blackmailed, follow the reporting steps in our special advice on how to deal with sexual extortion.

Contacting the online platform or service yourself

You may prefer to report the image-based abuse to the online platform or service yourself.

Most major online platforms and services have terms of service that ban sending, posting or sharing intimate images or videos without consent. If you can’t see that mentioned, check for any rules about nudity or harassment. They usually have processes to report in-app and request the removal of intimate or harmful content – you can find direct links for many of them in The eSafety Guide

If you decide to contact a website yourself, we recommend you create an email address that does not reveal your identity, just for this purpose. For example, you could set up an address like somethingelse@email.com.

Don’t give the platform or service any personally identifiable information – if they ask for your ID, don’t provide it – report to eSafety instead.

Don’t contact any ‘revenge porn’ sites directly, as they may try to blackmail you – report to eSafety instead.

Reporting to the police

You can also report image-based abuse to the police. They may be able to charge the person responsible and help protect you. This is very important if someone is also threatening to physically hurt you, or your family or friends. Find out more about how to get police and legal help

Even if the police are not able to act, ask them to make a report  and give you an event number. Keep a record of the police report or event number, so you have proof of your concerns if the abuse continues or gets worse. It’s also a good idea to ask the name and rank of the officer you speak with, in case you need to contact them again.

If you're not in Australia

Visit our International resources page to find out where you can get support, depending on where you live. It may be a good idea to report the image-based abuse to your local police.

Stay safe

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

If you’re in Australia and in immediate danger or at risk of harm, call the police on Triple Zero (000).

If you’re experiencing image-based abuse as part of an abusive relationship, contact 1800RESPECT for support and help with safety planning.

Last updated: 17/09/2023