Need help dealing with violent or distressing online content? Learn more

Quick Exit

Click here to exit quickly,
browser history won't be cleared.


Emily was a 17-year-old student when she shared three nude photos with a guy she knew of through a friend.

At her school, girls had been pressured by boys to send nude pictures for years. It was a common practice and it didn’t seem like a big deal. By the time Emily was in year 12, she didn’t think twice about sending a few nude pictures to a friend of a friend when he asked.

She knew he was a couple of years older and had left school but she was single at the time and was feeling playful and confident. Emily didn’t ever meet him, but they did flirt online for a while. She didn’t think about the images again, until two years later when she was at university and her boyfriend at the time discovered that the photos had been posted online.

Like many others in her situation, she was humiliated and angry.

What’s more, she saw the names and images of other girls she knew from school on the same sites. But when she talked to them about going to the police, none of them wanted to get their ex-boyfriends or their mates in trouble.

Emily contacted eSafety to find out what could be done. She was especially concerned as she was under 18 in the photos. eSafety was able to help get her images removed and made sure she had counselling support to deal with the emotional fall-out.

What Emily wants others to know

Emily wishes that more people were willing to speak out about their experiences and take action against those who are sharing these kinds of images without consent. She was happy that eSafety was able to remove her photos so that they no longer appeared online.

Emily let the other girls know that eSafety is there to help them.

*Emily's story combines the experiences and emotions of a number of individuals in this situation. Commissioned photo. Posed by model.


Probably from about Grade 7 onwards I started to feel almost pressured to send photos to guys.

They would ask for them and I’d sort of think that they wouldn’t ask if it was an unreasonable request.

Everyone did it. 

Well, I can’t say everyone, but it was a common thing.

Almost more uncommon to not send photos.

I remember that the first time I sent a photo I was so scared.

My hands were shaking.

And then it was alright.

Nothing bad happened the first time.

Then it just sort of almost became a, not quite a normal thing, but it just wasn’t as big a deal anymore. 

We’d still get those talks at school, and I guess I’d just have in my head like, 'Oh, I’ve done it and it was fine'.

Then one day in Grade 12, one of my friends, a guy asked her to send him some photos.

She jokingly said to me, ‘Oh, can you just do it?’

I think I was like fresh out of a relationship.

I was feeling playful maybe, and confident.

So I said, 'Yes, I will'.

And then I sent him, I think it was three photos.

Then I didn’t really hear anything more about it.

I’d never met him myself. I’d talked to him online a bit.

There was never anything that I did to him that would warrant a retaliation or any revenge, or anything like that.

Probably two years later, when I was in my second year of uni, my boyfriend at the time said he needed to talk to me about something.

He said that his friend had found pictures of me with my full name, my city.

He showed me the pictures and they were of me. 

And they were in multiple locations online.

I was in disbelief.

He was the one telling me not to go to the police, because he was worried about his friends getting in trouble because he knew that they’d be involved in it as well.

I just felt like girls were being put second.

And it just really didn’t seem fair that it was these people who’d done the wrong thing in the first place by sharing the photos who were then being protected.

Once I realised that my pictures were online and I could see the names of other girls whose pictures were online and some of them I’d gone to school with, I reached out to them and the majority of them just didn’t want to do anything. 

They were scared of getting their ex boyfriends in trouble.

It just made me frustrated that no-one else wanted to do the harder thing, which is to not forget about it.

Emily's story

Get support

Learn more and connect with support. There are also a number of ways you can take action to remove and report intimate images if you have experienced image-based abuse or 'revenge porn'.

Last updated: 14/03/2024