Image-based abuse

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 prohibited 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 prohibited images or videos between two consenting people, check out our page on Sexting.

Navigate this page

What is image-based abuse?

Image-based abuse happens when an intimate image or video is shared without the consent of the person pictured.

Image-based abuse is a crime in Tasmania where someone observes, visually records, possesses, or distributes a prohibited recording or image of another person without their consent. 

A “prohibited image” is a visual recording or image that shows

  • a person’s genitals, breasts or anal area (even if they are wearing underwear eg. a picture taken up someone’s skirt), 
  • a person doing a sexual act,  
  • a person undressed, showering, bathing or going to the toilet, or 
  • a person doing anything else people usually do in private. 

What is consent?

To give consent, the law says that the person in the image must have freely and voluntarily agreed to the image being taken or sent on that specific occasion. If a person shares an image of themselves, it does not mean they have consented to the image being shared again in the future or to other people. Consent must be given on each and every occasion.

It is never safe to assume someone has consented to you taking or sending nude, sexual or prohibited images or videos of them. 

A person must be conscious and awake to give consent. People who are asleep or drunk can’t consent. Consent doesn’t count if the person was threatened or if they were held against their will. If someone agrees to have sex or engage in a sexual act, it does not mean that they also consent to it being recorded or photographed. And remember – people are allowed to change their minds!

It is important to be aware that if the person in a picture or video is under 18, it can be a crime to take, record, send, share or post any intimate or invasive image or video, even if the 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

What can I do if someone has shared or threatened to share my intimate images?

There are 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 threatening to, or sending or posting images that are likely to have a serious effect on someone, for example by making them feel scared or seriously angry. 

If someone has taken or shared a nude or sexual picture of you, they are threatening to, or you are worried that they will, then there are things you can do to protect yourself. 

  • Collect evidence

We recommend that you collect evidence of any threats or images that have been shared without your consent. You can do this by taking screenshots or printing images of any threats or posts.

For more information on collecting evidence, check out these guides: How to collect evidence and Collecting information.

  • Get the images removed

If your image has been posted online, you can report it to the website or social media service to get it removed.

If you make a report and the image is not taken down, you can also report it to the 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 report what happened to the police.

  • Get legal advice

You might be able to take legal action, get court orders against the person or 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. You can also contact your local Community Legal Centre, or the Legal Aid Commission of Tasmania on 1300 366 611.

  • Report it to the police

If someone has threatened to share an image of you, or if your image has been shared without your consent, you can report it to the police.

If it is not an emergency, you can call the Police Assistance Line on 131 444. If you are scared for your safety or in immediate danger, you should call the police on 000.

  • Talk to someone

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 these services for free and private counselling support.

  • Kids Helpline 1800 55 1800 (available 24/7, for young people between 5 and 25)
  • eHeadspace 1800 650 890 (available 9am to 1am, every day, for young people between 12 and 25)
  • 1800RESPECT 1800 737 732 (available 24/7, for all ages)
  • Lifeline 13 11 14 (available 24/7, for all ages)
  • QLife 1800 184 527 (available 3pm to midnight, everyday, for all ages)

Consequences for breaking the law

If you commit one of the crimes we have talked about above, the consequences can be very serious. You could 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 Tasmanian Community Protection Register, which is a register of people who commit certain sex offences against adults or children. 

If you might have committed one or more of these crimes and you are contacted by the police, we strongly recommend you get legal advice straight away. For free legal advice, you can contact us. You can also contact your local Community Legal Centre, or the Legal Aid Commission of Tasmania on 1300 366 611.

Got a question you can't get answered?

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

Select Your State or Territory

The law is different in each state and territory. Please select your state or territory to view legal information that applies to you.