There is still a lot you can do

It’s not your fault

If you’re feeling ashamed, worried, concerned or anxious this is normal, but it’s important to know that this it is not your fault.

You trusted that the nudes would not be kept private and not be shared. Beating yourself up will not make things better.

There are steps you can take to be able to move forward and to not feel stuck or helpless.

You might find it helpful to check out some of the stories to hear about people that have been where you are and what helped them through.


You don’t need to know who shared the nudes  to take action

You can take steps to get photos/videos taken down without needing to know who has shared them.

Social Media Platforms let you report photos without knowing who shared them.

The Police and Netsafe have the ability to investigate further as well and have specially trained staff that can support you to to get the images taken down and to make a complaint


Talk to someone you trust

Talking to someone could make this easier to deal with, take practical steps and help make sure it doesn’t have a negative effect on other parts of your life.

You might be feeling

  • embarrassed and even maybe ashamed or humiliated.
  • like no one will understand
  • helpless

No matter what has happened, you deserve help and there will be people who care about you that will want to help.

Let someone that you trust know that nudes of you have been shared. This could be a friend, parent, auntie/uncle, guidance counsellor, teacher or a family friend.

If the first person you approach doesn’t help, this does not mean that nobody will. Keep trying.

Some ways to get started:

  • Make sure it is a good time so you have their full attention.  You could even ask, “When would be a good time for us to talk about something that’s worrying me?”
  • Be clear about your feelings.  “I am feeling really scared about sharing this with you and need you to listen/be there for me and not freak out”.
  • Be honest about where you are at.  “I made a mistake.  I feel awful about it and need some help/support to stop it from getting any worse”.
  • Give them the information they need to be able to understand the situation (this does not have to be every detail at this stage).
  • Let them know what you need from them, how they can help.  “I want your help to be able to get the pictures taken down so they don’t spread any further” or “I need you to be there for me and let me report this to Netsafe”.
  • Understand that they might need some time to think it over and come back to you.

Try not to let it take over everything else. Do things you like with people who can make you laugh. You are more than a moment in time. Things will get better.


Act fast to stop them being shared further

The quicker you can report any photos or videos, the less chance there is of them spreading widely.

This can be done directly to the Platform (e.g. Facebook, Snapchat, Google etc) or through Netsafe (or both).

You might also do some searching (or get someone else you trust to do this/help you with this) so that you can work out where they might now be able to be seen.


Get Photos or Video removed from Google Searches

Google also have a form that you can fill in to request photos or videos of you that have been shared without your permission to be removed from Google search results.

This can be really important as even if photos are taken down from sites like Tumblr, the description will often still show up when someone Googles your name.

To find out more about this, check out this article from Google


You may need to tell your family and friends

You may need to talk to your friends or family about the photos being out there before they see them or have someone contact them about them.

Even if it is  scary to have to start this discussion; if you think they might come across your nudes then you may have to do it.

Talking to them before they come across your nudes could minimise or prevent shock, anger and hurt. Taking that first step can really help them to stand by you and give you the support you need.

We totally get that in some situations, you might not be able to share this with your family, but don’t let that stop you from reaching out to someone else.


Sharing nudes without your consent is against the law

If someone shares naked (or intimate) photos or video of you publicly without your permission, they may be committing a crime under the Harmful Digital Communications Act.

Permission is also called ‘consent’ and means you understand and agree to something happening.  This is voluntary which means you cannot be forced or pressured to agree.

You are also able to change your mind if things change.  Giving permission or consent at one point does not mean you agree to anything to be done with your images/video in the future.

If you are under 16 and share photos with someone over 16, even if you have done this willingly, charges could still be laid as this is considered child pornography.  This is also true if you are over 16 and have nude/intimate photos of someone under 16 (even if you did not ask for them).

Even if the person who shared them  took the photos/video themselves they do not have the right to share them without checking with you first.  If you are in the images/video, then you have a say.

You need to give clear permission for them to be shared publicly (even if you gave permission for the photos/video to be taken initially).

If you don’t and they are shared you can go to Netsafe or the Police.

Find out more about the law and your rights below


Netsafe can offer you Support

Netsafe are the ‘Approved Agency’ named in the Harmful Digital Communications Act.  This means that they have a legal responsibility to support Internet Users being harassed or harmed.

They are a non-profit organisation with a helpline set up to help people with online safety and online issues.

Netsafe have years of experience in helping young people deal with harm online, their service is free and confidential.

Find out more by visiting their website or checking out the services section.


Netsafe can also support you to decide whether to take your complaint to the Police.

They also have some great tips about ‘Collecting Electronic Evidence’, click HERE