What to do

What can I do if someone has taken, shared or threatened to share intimate images without my consent, or I'm worried they might do something with my images?

Image-based abuse can be an upsetting and distressing experience. If someone has taken, shared or threatened to share intimate images without your consent, or you’re worried they might do so, we have tips that might help. Simply click on the statement(s) below and our tips will appear. As everyone’s situation is different, it’s a good idea to talk to someone you trust, such as a friend, family member, co-worker, counsellor or psychologist. You can also contact specialist support services for help and assistance in your country.

Please note: This advice is not suitable for young people who have experienced, or are experiencing, child sexual abuse. Please click here for a link to national child helpline services in your country.

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1. Seek help and support

If you’re unsafe or in danger, you could contact the Police or Ambulance services in your country — but only if it’s safe to do so, and if you feel comfortable talking to the police.

Consider contacting a support service. The UK Revenge Porn Helpline has a list of support services in 48 different countries here.

It might also be a good idea to reach out for support from someone you trust, such as a friend, family member, co-worker or counsellor, to help you through this.

We also have Umi, our chatbot, who you can speak to 24/7 (at any time of the day, 7 days a week). Una can give you information, support and general advice about image-based abuse. Please note that we designed Una to help Australian users, but some information, support and general guidance might be useful even if you live in another country.

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2. Ask the person to delete the images

If you’re on good terms with the person, you can ask them to delete the images. If you’re comfortable, you could ask them to delete the images while you’re in the same room together, just to make sure they do actually delete them. You could also check if they have any of the images saved elsewhere and request that they delete those too. This includes in the trash (bin) folder of their devices or in cloud storage.

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3. If you’re under 18

In most countries around the world, it is a serious crime to possess intimate images of a person under the age of 18. You might want to consider seeking help from a national child helpline in your country or calling the police.

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4. Look after yourself

Self-care is about looking after yourself to reduce stress and enhance your physical and mental wellbeing. It can involve sleeping and eating well, physical exercise, meditation, yoga, massage, reading, cooking, writing, dancing, drawing, spending time with loved ones and pets, or being outside in nature.

support icon

1. Seek help and support

If you’re unsafe or in danger, you could contact the Police or Ambulance services in your country — but only if it’s safe to do so, and if you feel comfortable talking to the police.

Consider contacting a support service. The UK Revenge Porn Helpline has a list of support services in 48 different countries here.

It might also be a good idea to reach out for support from someone you trust, such as a friend, family member, co-worker or counsellor, to help you through this.

We also have Umi, our chatbot, who you can speak to 24/7 (at any time of the day, 7 days a week). Una can give you information, support and general advice about image-based abuse. Please note that we designed Una to help Australian users, but some information, support and general guidance might be useful even if you live in another country.

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2. It’s okay to say no

It’s hard to know what to do when someone asks you to send intimate images and you don’t want to or you’re not sure. It’s normal to worry about what will happen if you don’t share your images with that person. The most important thing to remember is that it should always be your choice and it’s okay to say no.

Even if you’ve already shared intimate images with another person, you don’t have to send them any more. If the other person has already shared their images with you, you don’t have to “repay the favour”.

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3. You don’t have to decide now

It can be hard to say no when you don’t know how the other person will react. If someone asks you to share intimate images and you don’t feel comfortable with it, it’s important to know that you have options. If the person is someone you trust, you could try telling them you’re unsure and will think about it, or ask to have a conversation about the concerns you have.

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4. Block and report the person if they’re harassing you

If the person is harassing you for intimate images, you could block them on your online accounts or mobile phone, and/or report them to the relevant digital platform(s).

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5. Learn how to safe sext

Headspace Australia provides tips and advice on safe “sexting” here.

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6. If you’re under 18

In most countries around the world, it is a serious crime to possess intimate images of a person under the age of 18. You might want to consider seeking help from a national child helpline in your country or calling the police.

look after yourself icon

7. Look after yourself

Self-care is about looking after yourself to reduce stress and enhance your physical and mental wellbeing. It can involve sleeping and eating well, physical exercise, meditation, yoga, massage, reading, cooking, writing, dancing, drawing, spending time with loved ones and pets, or being outside in nature.

support icon

1. Seek help

If you’re unsafe or in danger, you could contact the Police or Ambulance services in your country — but only if it’s safe to do so, and if you feel comfortable talking to the police.

Consider contacting a support service. The UK Revenge Porn Helpline has a list of support services in 48 different countries here.

It might also be a good idea to reach out for support from someone you trust, such as a friend, family member, co-worker or counsellor, to help you through this.

We also have Umi, our chatbot, who you can speak to 24/7 (at any time of the day, 7 days a week). Una can give you information, support and general advice about image-based abuse. Please note that we designed Una to help Australian users, but some information, support and general guidance might be useful even if you live in another country.

block and report icon

2. Block and report the person if they’re harassing you

If the person is harassing you for images, you can block them on your online accounts or mobile phone and/or report them to the relevant digital platform.

If someone has access to your social media or email account, is pretending to be you (i.e., “impersonating” you) and is sharing images of you, there are things you can do. First, check to see if you still have access to your account and try to change your password. If you can’t access your account, you can contact the relevant platform to let them know someone has hacked your account. Many platforms have advice on what to do if your account has been hacked (e.g., see Facebook’s advice).

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3. Ask the person to delete the images

If you’re on good terms with the person, you can ask them to delete the images. If you’re comfortable, you could ask them to delete the images while you’re in the same room together, just to make sure they do actually delete them. You could also check if they have any of the images saved elsewhere and request that they delete those too. This includes in the trash (bin) folder of their devices or in cloud storage.

under 18 icon

4. If you’re under 18

In most countries around the world, it is a serious crime to possess intimate images of a person under the age of 18. You might want to consider seeking help from a national child helpline in your country or calling the police.

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5. Look out for warning signs

According to the Australian eSafety Commissioner, there are several warning signs that you should look out for, such as:

  • a person’s online profile not matching, or being inconsistent with, the person you meet online;
  • someone expressing strong emotional attachment to you too soon; and
  • a person suggesting you move to a more private channel to get nude or sexual early in the conversation.

Always be wary of someone who asks for money.

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6. Find out if someone has already shared your intimate images

If you suspect that someone may have shared your images online, or you’re worried that they might do so in the future, there are a couple of options you might like to consider.

To help find any images of you online, you can do a reverse Google Images search. To do this, you need to:

  1. click on Google Images;
  2. click the camera icon in the search bar to “search by image”;
  3. either upload the image of yourself or paste the URL where a current image of you online is located; and
  4. select “Search by image”.

Unfortunately, this is not a perfect solution. While a reverse Google Images search might help you to find the same image of you, it’s not very effective for finding other similar images of you online.

If you’re not sure where your images are hosted, you can try typing your name into a search engine to see if anything comes up. If you’re using Gmail, you can also set up a Google Alert for your name, whereby you will be altered if anything is posted online with your name.

Please keep in mind that a reverse search can be an upsetting. You might like to talk this through with a friend, counsellor or support person.

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7. Report to police

Depending on where you live, it may be a crime to take or record intimate images of another person without their consent. If it is, you can report to the police in your country (if it’s safe to do so, and if you feel comfortable talking to the police). You can check here to see if there is information about laws in your country or, alternatively, you can search online for the laws that apply to where you live.

online safety icon

8. Enhance your online safety

The Australian eSafety Commissioner has step-by-step video guides on a range of topics, including how to change your privacy settings on social media, and how to choose a good password. Check them out here.

For women experiencing family or domestic violence, the following resources might be helpful:

– WESNET’s comprehensive safety and privacy toolkit for women;

– The Australian eSafety Commissioner’s online safety checklist; and

– 1800 RESPECT’s Device Safety page.

look after yourself icon

9. Look after yourself

Self-care is about looking after yourself to reduce stress and enhance your physical and mental wellbeing. It can involve sleeping and eating well, physical exercise, meditation, yoga, massage, reading, cooking, writing, dancing, drawing, spending time with loved ones and pets, or being outside in nature.

support icon

1. Seek help

If you’re unsafe or in danger, you could contact the Police or Ambulance services in your country — but only if it’s safe to do so, and if you feel comfortable talking to the police.

Consider contacting a support service. The UK Revenge Porn Helpline has a list of support services in 48 different countries here.

It might also be a good idea to reach out for support from someone you trust, such as a friend, family member, co-worker or counsellor, to help you through this.

We also have Umi, our chatbot, who you can speak to 24/7 (at any time of the day, 7 days a week). Una can give you information, support and general advice about image-based abuse. Please note that we designed Una to help Australian users, but some information, support and general guidance might be useful even if you live in another country.

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2. Collect evidence

It’s important to record the type of content that was posted, when, where and by whom. This might include photos, videos, posts or comments. The evidence will be important if you want to seek advice from a lawyer, request content removal from a digital platform, or report the taking or sharing of intimate images to police or an online safety agency in your country. If your case ends up in court, you’ll need to have evidence of the image-based abuse.

When capturing or recording evidence, consider keeping a single document log (e.g., a Word document) so that you don’t have to work across multiple files during a stressful time. It’s important to store this evidence (i.e., the document log) in a password-protected folder, and to have backups of the log in a separate password-protected folder. 

If you would like to know more about collecting evidence, including how to take screenshots, please read the eSafety Commissioner’s guide on collecting evidence here.

Please make sure that you don’t download, store or save any images of a person under the age of 18 given that there are laws against child pornography, or child abuse material, in most countries. This includes images of yourself and others.

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3. Find out what the policies are on digital platforms

Most popular websites and search engines have policies, terms of service or community standards that don’t allow the non-consensual sharing of intimate images. It’s important to know that not all forms of intimate image sharing will violate website policies. Images will generally need to show nudity or  near nudity, or be sexual. Some websites make it clear that this includes fake pornographic images (including “deepfakes”). Others do not allow threats to share intimate images.

Not all websites refer to the content as “image-based abuse”, “non-consensual pornography” or “non-consensual intimate images”. This means you might instead need to select another category on the online form, such as “nudity”, “inappropriate content”, “other” or “illegal content”.

You should check the policies on the website or app to find what kind of content violates their policies.

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4. Report to digital platforms

Many websites and apps have in-built reporting tools that enable you to flag or report illegal content (including videos, photos and comments). They handle policy violations and bad actors in different ways. A range of factors can influence what happens next, including whether the person who posted the image has previously violated content policies, the type of content and your age. Content violations can result in a platform suspending or deactivating a user’s account, among other actions or inaction.

If you’ve had your intimate images shared online without your consent, most platforms enable you to fill out an online reporting form to request that this content be removed and/or blocked. You don’t have to have an account with the website or app to request the content be taken down. Click here to find out more about flagging inappropriate or illegal content.

If the website you’re wanting content taken down from doesn’t have an in-built reporting tool, you can send an email to the website to request that your images be taken down (you will usually be able to find their email through a “Contact Us” button on the page or “Support” or at the footer of the page). The UK Revenge Porn Helpline suggests writing something like this:

“Hi, my intimate images have been shared on your site without my consent. This is against the law in [insert country] and I am requesting the images/videos to be removed along with any associated thumbnails. I would appreciate prompt removal of the content and notification when this has been done. Thank you”‘. 

If someone has access to your social media or email account, is pretending to be you (i.e., “impersonating” you) and is sharing images of you, there are things you can do. First, check to see if you still have access to your account and try to change your password. If not, you can contact the platform to let them know someone has hacked your account. Many of the platforms have advice on what to do if your account has been hacked (e.g., Facebook’s advice here).

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5. Request search results linking to your content are removed

Search engines, such as Google, Bing/Microsoft or Yahoo!, can also remove links to photos or videos in their search results. When a search engine company removes links to the content, they are unable to remove the content from the website or app where it is originally hosted.

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6. Contact an online safety agency (if you have one in your country)

In some countries, there are online safety agencies that can give you support and advice, and even work with technology companies to get content removed or taken down. See the UK Revenge Porn Hotline’s list of support services here.

7. Contact the person who has shared your images – but only if it’s safe to do so

If you know the person who has shared your images without your consent, you can contact them and request that they delete the images from their phones or other personal devices. You can request that they ask anyone else that they have shared the images with to do the same, and for them to remove the content from any online websites immediately.

If someone tells you about your images being shared without your consent, or you stumble across your images yourself when you’re browsing online, you can contact the person who you suspect has shared your images and request that they remove and delete them immediately (but again, only if it’s safe to do so).

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8. Find your images online

If you suspect that someone may have shared your images online, or you’re worried that they might do so in the future, there are a couple of options you might like to consider.

To help find any images of you online, you can do a reverse Google Images search. To do this, you need to:

  1. click on Google Images;
  2. click the camera icon in the search bar to “search by image”;
  3. either upload the image of yourself or paste the URL where a current image of you online is located; and
  4. select “Search by image”.

Unfortunately, this is not a perfect solution. While a reverse Google Images search might help you to find the same image of you, it’s not very effective for finding other similar images of you online.

If you’re not sure where your images are hosted, you can try typing your name into a search engine to see if anything comes up. If you’re using Gmail, you can also set up a Google Alert for your name, whereby you will be altered if anything is posted online with your name.

Please keep in mind that a reverse search can be an upsetting. You might like to talk this through with a friend, counsellor or support person.

under 18 icon

9. If you’re under 18

In most countries around the world, it is a serious crime to possess intimate images of a person under the age of 18. You might want to consider seeking help from a national child helpline in your country or calling the police.

report to police icon

10. Report to police

Depending on where you live, it may be a crime to distribute or share intimate images of another person without their consent. If it is, you can report to the police in your country (if it’s safe to do so, and if you feel comfortable talking to the police). You can check here to see if there is information about laws in your country or, alternatively, you can search online for the laws that apply to where you live.

online safety icon

11. Enhance your online safety

The Australian eSafety Commissioner has step-by-step video guides on a range of topics, including how to change your privacy settings on social media, and how to choose a good password. Check them out here.

For women experiencing family or domestic violence, the following resources might be helpful:

– WESNET’s comprehensive safety and privacy toolkit for women;

– The Australian eSafety Commissioner’s online safety checklist; and

– 1800 RESPECT’s Device Safety page.

look after yourself icon

12. Look after yourself

Self-care is about looking after yourself to reduce stress and enhance your physical and mental wellbeing. It can involve sleeping and eating well, physical exercise, meditation, yoga, massage, reading, cooking, writing, dancing, drawing, spending time with loved ones and pets, or being outside in nature.

support icon

1. Seek help

If you’re unsafe or in danger, you could contact the Police or Ambulance services in your country — but only if it’s safe to do so, and if you feel comfortable talking to the police.

Consider contacting a support service. The UK Revenge Porn Helpline has a list of support services in 48 different countries here.

It might also be a good idea to reach out for support from someone you trust, such as a friend, family member, co-worker or counsellor, to help you through this.

We also have Umi, our chatbot, who you can speak to 24/7 (at any time of the day, 7 days a week). Una can give you information, support and general advice about image-based abuse. Please note that we designed Una to help Australian users, but some information, support and general guidance might be useful even if you live in another country.

2. Stop all contact with the person making the threats – but only if it’s safe to do so

It’s best to stop all contact with the person making the threats — but only if you are able to do so safely. It is important to remember that someone who is making threats against you is probably hoping you’ll respond to their demands.

3. Do not pay the person money, give them more images or give in to their demands

If the person who is making threats is asking for money, more intimate images or you to do something sexual with them, do not give in to their demands. This is a form of sexual extortion. We understand you might be worried about what they will do if you don’t respond, but generally speaking, continuing the conversation gives them more power.

If you have already processed a money transfer, you may still be able to cancel it if you act quickly. The Australian eSafety Commissioner has advice about dealing with sexual extortion here.

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4. Collect evidence

It’s important to record the type of content that was posted, when, where and by whom. This might include photos, videos, posts or comments. The evidence will be important if you want to seek advice from a lawyer, request content removal from a digital platform, or report the taking or sharing of intimate images to police or an online safety agency in your country. If your case ends up in court, you’ll need to have evidence of the image-based abuse.

When capturing or recording evidence, consider keeping a single document log (e.g., a Word document) so that you don’t have to work across multiple files during a stressful time. It’s important to store this evidence (i.e., the document log) in a password-protected folder, and to have backups of the log in a separate password-protected folder.

If you would like to know more about collecting evidence, including how to take screenshots, please read the eSafety Commissioner’s guide on collecting evidence here.

Please make sure that you don’t download, store or save any images of a person under the age of 18 given that there are laws against child pornography, or child abuse material, in most countries. This includes images of yourself and others.

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5. Block the person and review your privacy settings

If it’s safe to do so, you can block the person on your phone or online account(s). You can also change your passwords and review your privacy settings on your social media and other accounts.

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6. Block images from being shared on Facebook and/or Instagram

If you’re worried that someone will share your intimate images on Facebook or Instagram, you can use the StopNCII.org tool which will prevent the image from being shared on those platforms. StopNCII.org is operated by the UK Revenge Porn Helpline. Anyone in the world can use it.

If you want to use this tool, you’ll need to create a case here.  Start by selecting “Create Your Case”. Next, you’ll be directed to an online form, in which you’ll be asked some basic questions about your age and the intimate images you’re concerned about. After you’ve answered these questions, StopNCII.org will generate a “hash” or digital fingerprint (which is a unique numerical code) of your image(s). To generate a hash, your image is scanned only – you do not have to upload your image(s). This means that no one sees your image(s) and they do not leave your device.

StopNCII.org will share the anonymous hash with other companies that are participating in the scheme so that they can also detect any matches of the hash on their platforms.

You will receive a case number and you can check the status of your case at any time.

You can also find out more about the NCII.org tool here.

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7. Check to see if your images can be found online

If you suspect that someone may have shared your images online, or you’re worried that they might do so in the future, there are a couple of options you might like to consider.

To help find any images of you online, you can do a reverse Google Images search. To do this, you need to:

  1. click on Google Images;
  2. click the camera icon in the search bar to “search by image”;
  3. either upload the image of yourself or paste the URL where a current image of you online is located; and
  4. select “Search by image”.

Unfortunately, this is not a perfect solution. While a reverse Google Images search might help you to find the same image of you, it’s not very effective for finding other similar images of you online.

If you’re not sure where your images are hosted, you can try typing your name into a search engine to see if anything comes up. If you’re using Gmail, you can also set up a Google Alert for your name, whereby you will be altered if anything is posted online with your name.

Please keep in mind that a reverse search can be an upsetting. You might like to talk this through with a friend, counsellor or support person.

under 18 icon

8. If you’re under 18

In most countries around the world, it is a serious crime to possess intimate images of a person under the age of 18. You might want to consider seeking help from a national child helpline in your country or calling the police.

report to police icon

9. Report to police

Depending on where you live, it may be a crime to make threats to distribute or share intimate images of another person without their consent. If it is, you can report to the police in your country (if it’s safe to do so, and if you feel comfortable talking to the police). You can check here to see if there is information about laws in your country or, alternatively, you can search online for the laws that apply to where you live.

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10. Find out more about “sexual extortion” scams

If you receive an email or message from a stranger claiming that they have hacked your device or account and have recorded you performing a sexual act, it may be a scam. It might look real because they are using your real name and even your password. It’s important not to respond to the scammer.

Your local or national government website(s) might have advice on scams. In Australia, for instance, Scamwatch provides information about scams that are currently on the Australian Government’s radar.

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11. Enhance your online safety

The Australian eSafety Commissioner has step-by-step video guides on a range of topics, including how to change your privacy settings on social media, and how to choose a good password. Check them out here.

For women experiencing family or domestic violence, the following resources might be helpful:

– WESNET’s comprehensive safety and privacy toolkit for women;

– The Australian eSafety Commissioner’s online safety checklist; and

– 1800 RESPECT’s Device Safety page.

take care of yourself icon

12. Look after yourself

Self-care is about looking after yourself to reduce stress and enhance your physical and mental wellbeing. It can involve sleeping and eating well, physical exercise, meditation, yoga, massage, reading, cooking, writing, dancing, drawing, spending time with loved ones and pets, or being outside in nature.

support icon

1. Seek help

If you’re unsafe or in danger, you could contact the Police or Ambulance services in your country — but only if it’s safe to do so, and if you feel comfortable talking to the police.

Consider contacting a support service. The UK Revenge Porn Helpline has a list of support services in 48 different countries here.

It might also be a good idea to reach out for support from someone you trust, such as a friend, family member, co-worker or counsellor, to help you through this.

We also have Umi, our chatbot, who you can speak to 24/7 (at any time of the day, 7 days a week). Una can give you information, support and general advice about image-based abuse. Please note that we designed Una to help Australian users, but some information, support and general guidance might be useful even if you live in another country.

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2. Tell the person to stop if it’s safe to do so

Many people enjoy sending, sharing or receiving nudes. However, when you’re on the receiving end of getting someone else’s intimate images that you did not ask for or did not want, it can be an upsetting experience. An example of this is an unsolicited “dick pic”.

If you feel that the person genuinely believed they were being flirtatious or funny with no harm intended, you can tell them to stop. If they’re a decent person, the chances are they will stop. It’s a good idea to then delete the image(s) they sent to you.

don't share the images with anyone else

3. Don’t share the images with anyone else

It might be tempting to share the person’s image online or with groups of your friends or their friends. However, it’s important that you don’t do this as you could get into trouble — sharing someone else’s intimate images without their consent might be a crime in your country. You can, however, capture evidence by taking screenshots of the images and saving them somewhere safe — but only if the person in the image is over the age of 18. 

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4. Report if the images are being sent as a form of harassment

Some countries have sexual harassment laws which may apply if the person who did this to you is a fellow student, co-worker or manager. Additionally, some countries, universities, schools or workplaces have internal reporting options. If you’re not sure whether you want to take-up reporting options, you could start by seeking support from someone you trust at your school, university or workplace.

online safety icon

5. Enhance your online safety

The Australian eSafety Commissioner has step-by-step video guides on a range of topics, including how to change your privacy settings on social media, and how to choose a good password. Check them out here.

For women experiencing family or domestic violence, the following resources might be helpful:

– WESNET’s comprehensive safety and privacy toolkit for women;

– The Australian eSafety Commissioner’s online safety checklist; and

– 1800 RESPECT’s Device Safety page.

look after yourself icon

6. Look after yourself

Self-care is about looking after yourself to reduce stress and enhance your physical and mental wellbeing. It can involve sleeping and eating well, physical exercise, meditation, yoga, massage, reading, cooking, writing, dancing, drawing, spending time with loved ones and pets, or being outside in nature.

Taking, sharing or threatening to share intimate images without consent are forms of image-based abuse.

It might be a good idea to speak to a friend, family member, counsellor or psychologist.