For free and confidential advice about image-based abuse, you can get help here.
It is never OK to take, send, share or post a nude, sexual or other intimate picture or video (sometimes called ‘nudes’) of someone online without their permission, or to threaten to do so.
This is called image-based abuse (sometimes known as ‘revenge porn’) and it’s a crime.
If you are looking for information about sharing sexual or intimate images or videos between two consenting people, you can check out our page on Sexting.
Image-based abuse is where someone shares or threatens to share an intimate image of another person knowing that the other person does not consent to the distribution. This applies both in person and online, and includes showing or sending the image to another person, or posting the image online.
An “intimate image’ is a still or moving image that shows:
It doesn’t have to be a real photo – an intimate image can also include pictures and videos that have been altered or photoshopped to show any of the things mentioned above.
For free and confidential legal advice about this topic, please contact us here.
It is never safe to assume someone has consented to you taking or sending nude, sexual or intimate images of them.
A person does not consent to the distribution of an intimate image of themselves by another person if the other person has:
People who are under the influence of alcohol or drugs cannot give consent. A person who does not understand what is happening because of a mental incapacity or physical helplessness, for example someone who is asleep, cannot give consent. If a person shares an intimate image of themselves, it does not mean they have consented to the image being shared to or seen by other people. Consent must be given on each and every occasion.
In the ACT, a person under 18 is not able to consent at all to having their intimate images taken or shared. These images may also be child exploitation material or child abuse material under the ACT and national laws, and these laws apply to anyone under 18. So if the person in the picture or video is under 18, it is a crime to take, record, send, share or post any invasive image or video, even if that person said it was OK. For more information about the laws that apply to people under 18 years old, you can have a look at our page on Sexting.
In the ACT, it is against the law to threaten to take, record, send or share an intimate image of them.
There are also laws that apply across Australia that make it illegal to use a phone or internet service in a way that is menacing, harassing or offensive. This includes sending or posting images that are likely to have a serious effect on someone, for example by making them feel scared or seriously angry or upset.
If someone has shared, or threatened to share your intimate images, there are steps you can take. As a first step, we strongly recommend that you do not give in to the person’s threats and that you get free and confidential help straight away.
First, we recommend that you collect evidence of any threats and images that have been shared without your consent. For example, you can take screenshots or print images of the abuse or threats. For more information on collecting evidence, check out these guides: How to collect evidence and Collecting information.
If your image has been posted online, you can report it to the website or social media service to get it removed.
If the image is not taken down, you can also report it to the eSafety Commissioner here: https://www.esafety.gov.au/key-issues/image-based-abuse/take-action/report-to-esafety-commissioner
The eSafety Commissioner can help to get the images taken down or take action against the person who sent or posted them. In some cases the Commissioner might need to report it to the police.
You might be able to take legal action against the person or get help to get the images removed. Every situation is different, and a lawyer can help you understand your options.
For free legal advice, you can contact us or one of these services:
If you have been threatened with your images, or your image has been shared without your consent, you can report it to the police.
You can make a report to Crime Stoppers on 1800 333 000 or online at: https://nsw.crimestoppers.com.au/
For non-emergency matters, you can phone the police assistance line on 131 444.
If you are ever in immediate danger, please call the police on 000.
If you or someone you know has experienced image-based abuse, it’s a good idea to talk to someone you trust, like a friend, your parents or another trusted adult.
If you would rather talk to someone you don’t know, you can call one of the following services for free and private counselling support.
If you commit one of the crimes we have talked about above, the consequences can be very serious. You may be investigated and charged by the police, and if you are found guilty you could end up with a criminal record or even go to jail. For some offences you could also be placed on the NSW Child Protection Register if you are sentenced. This may affect your ability to work in certain jobs in the future.
If you have committed one or more of these crimes and you are contacted by the police, we strongly recommend that you get legal advice straight away.
If you have a problem or a question, you can send it to us today and we can provide you with free advice, information and referrals to help solve your problem. Just click on the button below.Get help now