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.
Your doctor (GP) can refer you to a counsellor through a local health service, mental health nurses or a psychologist. Your GP does this through the Mental Health Treatment Plan Program, which is subsidised by Medicare.
If you or someone you love has a serious psychiatric or psychological episode, such as hallucinations or intends to harm or kill themselves, contact their GP, counsellor or psychologist. If you cannot find someone who is available, you can take, or call an ambulance to take them, to the local hospital emergency department.
Call Triple Zero (000) for an ambulance if there are immediate safety concerns for the person or for others.
beyondblue offers 24/7 free and confidential support from a mental health professional.
They can help identify if you are experiencing a depression or anxiety, which is treatable.
Feelings of depression or anxiety commonly occur after a person is abused.
Lifeline offers 24/7 crisis support and suicide prevention services to those experiencing a personal crisis.Lifeline's 24 hour crisis can help you with: