FAQ about making an image-based abuse report
If an intimate image or video of you has been shared without your consent, we can help to get it removed and, in some cases, take action against the person who shared it or threatened to share it.
These frequently asked questions (FAQ) are designed to help you understand how to make an image-based abuse report to us. You can also read an overview of how to make a report and, once you are ready, you can start your report.
How eSafety can help
You can report image-based abuse to us if:
- you are the person in the intimate image or video,
- you have been authorised by the person in the intimate image or video to make a report on their behalf,
- you are a parent or guardian of a child who is under 16, or
- you are a parent or guardian of a person who is in a mental or physical condition that makes them incapable of managing their own affairs
Please be aware that we can only consider a report if:
- the person in the image lives in Australia,
- the person who posted the image lives in Australia, or
- the intimate image is hosted in Australia
Yes. You do not need to give your name in order to make a report. However, it is important that we still have a way of contacting you. One way to report to us without giving us your name is to set up an email account which does not use your name (firstname.lastname@example.org). You can list this email as your contact when you make a report and still preserve your anonymity.
We would also like to know which state or territory you are in, as this will help us to tailor advice for you. This is important as the laws relating to image-based abuse differ between states and territories.
To submit an image-based abuse report, you will need to provide some key information to our team. If you don’t have all this information, you can still make a report, we just might need to contact you for further information before we can take action.
It will be helpful if you can tell us:
- The URL or web address of the content (remember, it can be difficult to copy a web address if you use an app to view content — you may need to switch to a web browser like Internet Explorer, Google Chrome or Mozilla Firefox to copy the full web address).
- The name of the website or social media service on which it was shared or posted.
- Details of any police or legal involvement that may be relevant.
- A way that we can contact you safely. While we respect your privacy — and will provide the option for you not to be contacted — having no contact details may make it hard for us to take action on your behalf. We often need to confirm facts and may, at times, need to contact you to check or clarify something. If this is an issue for you, consider creating a new email address so you can communicate with us safely. See the advice about making an anonymous report.
- If you are making the report on someone’s behalf, you generally need their permission (parents and guardians can make reports on behalf of children under 16).
- Any other information that may be relevant to your report, including names of any people involved and dates.
In response to a report, we may take removal action and, in some cases, also take action against the person who posted, or threatened to post, an intimate image without consent.
If you report image-based abuse we may:
- help you gather the information about the image or video and the person who may be responsible
- approach a social media service or website on your behalf to request removal of an image or video
- help you find relevant services, such as counselling support and legal assistance
- provide resources to help you communicate with lawyers or police, such as specialist youth or domestic violence support workers
- take action against the person or people who posted or threatened to post your intimate image
There may be ways we can help even if the image has already been removed.
For more information see how we handle reports.
If we decide that the person was responsible for sharing or threatening to share your intimate content, we typically:
- Request the social media service, website or other online service remove the intimate content.
- Report the person’s accounts to the online service for the service to take appropriate action. This could result in deletion of the person’s accounts.
We might also:
- Speak with your school if you are at school and we feel your school can help us address the problem.
- Speak with police if they are already involved or we think the police ought to be involved.
- Take action against the person, for example, by issuing them with a formal warning. Unlike police, we do not administer criminal laws so any action we take against the person will not affect their criminal record.
Complaints made to eSafety are confidential. The fact that a complaint has been made about a person is not publicly available information.
When you make an image-based abuse report to us, your report will be classed as either a complaint or an objection notice. This will happen automatically based on how you fill out the report form.
The actions we may be able to take differ depending on whether a complaint or objection notice is made.
We can take removal action in response to both complaints and objection notices. We may also be able to take action against the person who posted, or threatened to post, the intimate image without consent, but only in relation to complaints. Objection notices may be useful where a person initially consented to the posting of the intimate image or video but now wants it removed.
A complaint can be made by a person or someone on their behalf where:
- an intimate image has been posted, or threatened to be posted, without their consent
- the posting, or threatened posting, is to a social media service, website or by some other electronic means
- there is an Australian connection — that is, the person in the intimate image lives in Australia, or the person who posted, or threatened to post, the intimate image lives in Australia, or the intimate image is hosted in Australia
An objection notice can be given by a person or someone on their behalf where:
- an intimate image has been posted
- there is an Australian connection— that is, the person in the intimate image lives in Australia, or the person who posted the intimate image lives in Australia, or the intimate image is hosted in Australia
You can find out more about complaints and objection notices by looking at the Act. The relevant sections of the Act are section 19A for complaints and section 19B for objection notices.
To find out more about how eSafety can respond to image-based abuse reports read about the civil penalties scheme.
It is a good idea to keep a copy or screenshot of the image or video and any other content for your own records, or in case you decide to go to the police or access legal support. Evidence is also helpful for us to work out how we can best assist and respond to a report. You can read more about how to collect evidence in cases of image-based abuse.
The guidance on this page is for collecting evidence of image-based abuse concerning adults. Be mindful that possessing, creating or sharing sexualised images of people under 18 may be unlawful. For more information about relevant laws in Australia please visit Youth Law Australia.
No. You can make a report to us without first reporting the intimate images or video to the social media service or platform they were shared on.
However, if you want to report image-based abuse to social media services or other platforms yourself, remember to collect evidence first. You may need this if you later to decide to report to eSafety, go to the police or get legal assistance.
Most social media services have rules prohibiting image-based abuse and offer a complaints or reporting tool where you can ask for image-based abuse material to be removed. The eSafety Guide has reporting links and online safety information for major social media services, games, apps and sites.
If the intimate images have been posted on a revenge porn website, do not try to contact the site. Instead, report the intimate image to us.
We encourage you to report to us directly, but if you need help to make a report about image-based abuse you can:
If you are having trouble submitting the report form, or require an offline version of the report form, please see below.
Ready to make a report?
Once you have collected all relevant information and evidence you can make an image-based abuse report to eSafety.
Technical issues and accessibility
If you are having trouble submitting the complaints form online, an offline form is available as an editable PDF.