How to collect evidence

Victims of image-based abuse often want to have the images and videos taken down or removed immediately. This is a perfectly natural response. But it is important to preserve evidence first.

If you have been the victim of image-based abuse you may be able to take legal action. To do so, it is helpful to collect evidence before the content is taken down. Evidence can help you show police and the courts exactly what happened.

Evidence can also be useful if you plan to report the abuse or threatening behaviour to the site or social media service it was posted on. Showing evidence of the image-based abuse can help to have the person who shared the image or video blocked from that service. It may also help prevent your image from being shared again in the future.

How do I collect evidence?

You can save evidence of any photos or videos that have been posted online by taking screenshots or photos of the content. You should also save or record evidence of the webpage addresses (URLs) or social media services where the photos or images have been shared.

Always record the time and date you collected the evidence.

If possible, also record the time and dates the content was shared, including any other information that you think may be important. This might include the username/s of the person or people who shared the material.

Taking a screenshot

Screen shots are a quick and effective way of preserving evidence. They may also have the added advantage of recording other details such as usernames and dates, but it is important to also take detailed records to accompany screenshots.

Taking a screenshot on a Mac

Taking a screenshot on a PC

Taking a screenshot on an Android device

Taking a screenshot on an Apple device

Should you talk to a lawyer?

If you think you may want to pursue legal action, it is important to speak with a lawyer, legal service or police about what’s happening and what evidence you will need to help resolve your case.

Finding a lawyer

What if the people in the images are under 18?

The guidance on this page is for collecting evidence of image-based abuse concerning adults. Possessing, creating or sharing sexualised images of people under 18 may be a crime. For more information about relevant laws in Australia, visit Lawstuff .

If you encounter child sexual abuse material online, please report it to the Office via our online reporting form . Reports can be made anonymously.