Image-based abuse is when intimate or sexual photos or videos are shared online without consent, either to humiliate or shame someone, or for the ‘entertainment’ of others.
This factsheet covers:
Abusers sometimes share photos and videos, without consent, on popular social media sites so friends and family will see them, or on specific websites set up to humiliate people. Some members of photo and video sharing platforms encourage users to post identifying information about the person in the photos and videos. They also encourage other users to contact the people in the photos or videos to abuse, threaten or scare them. Some “rate” the people in the photos and videos and make demeaning comments.
Sometimes photos and videos are obtained consensually, but then forwarded or shared without consent. Another way they can be obtained is when devices or cloud storage platforms are hacked. Celebrities are sometimes the targets of this, with private photos and videos sold to the media.
It can be hard to get photos and videos removed once they are shared online, however there are some steps you can take:
If you or someone you know has been the target of image-based abuse, had photos shared on ‘porn-sharing’ websites, or experienced other online abuse you may need to seek support.
We want you to understand that what happened was not acceptable and not your fault. We want you to know that it is not okay that your trust was breached.
We want you to know that you will be able to move past this.
How you feel after abuse is different for every person. Many people who have experienced abuse have these reactions:
Some ways to cope with the trauma
If you continue to feel bad, worried, angry or sad there is support available. Please talk to somebody. You don’t need to do it alone.
© Commonwealth of Australia 2017. Published by the Office of the Children’s eSafety Commissioner and freely available at: https://esafety.gov.au/esafety-information/esafety-issues/image-based-abuse. This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution No Derivatives 2.5 Australia Licence
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