What do I need to think about?

Be prepared to feel a range of emotions

It is completely normal to feel worried, embarrassed, anxious or scared about talking to your friends or family about what is going on.

Sometimes you might think that it will be easier to keep things to yourself.

This does not make the situation better and isolates you from people that could support you to resolve the situation.

Choosing someone that you trust to confide in means that you can have someone who can be there for you.  They can see things objectively and think about things you can do and help you to take the next steps.


 If it is someone you know, it is still important to take action

Sometimes the person might be someone we know, either well (like an ex) or through a friend or family member.

This can make us reluctant to report what is going on because we don’t want to get them into trouble and might be worried about what people will think.  We often worry that people will think ‘we’ve asked for it’ or ‘shouldn’t have been so stupid in the first place’.

People that care about you will want to help you deal with the situation rather than make you feel worse about something that you cannot change.

It is important to understand that it is not up to you to protect someone that is blackmailing you or threatening to humiliate or hurt you.

If they cared about you or were being at all considerate of your feelings, you would not be in this position.

They are the ones that need to carefully think about what they are doing and change their behaviour, not you.


Blackmailers are not always motivated by money

What someone wants out of a blackmailing situation varies a lot.  They might want more photos/video, they might want money or even private information, sometimes they might want to keep the relationship going or have control over you in some way.

No matter what it is that they are trying to get out of the situation, when you are being blackmailed, it can feel embarrassing or even really scary.  You will often feel alone and vulnerable and like the only thing you can do is go along with what they are asking.


Going along with the demands will not make things better

It is really unusual for the person to stop after you have done what they asked.

Doing this shows that they have power over you and they will usually continue to blackmail you to get whatever they can out of you.

Sometimes, even if you do what they ask, they will still share the photos or video anyway.


Keep a record of the communication

Take screenshots of any messages you receive.

These can be used to support you to report the blackmail and take action.

Use the Reporting and Blocking tools

Use your screenshots or links to the posts/messages to report what is happening to Social Media.

They all have very clear positions on Revenge Porn or blackmailing someone for nude images and this clearly breaches the Community Standards or Guidelines of all Social Media Platforms.

To find out how to do this, click on the links below


You can report what is happening to Netsafe or to the Police

Threatening to share nudes of you is an offence under the Harmful Digital Communications Act. This means it is against the law.

You can contact Netsafe to get support and they may recommend you to get in touch with the Police.

They have a trained team who are available by phone or by submitting an online form (or email) that can take steps to deal with the situation in a range of ways.

They can let you know whether what is happening to you breaks the law and support you to contact the police.

If it is serious, you can also report what is happening directly to the Police.


Is this is a sign of control in a relationship offline?

If this is happening inside a relationship where this is a sign of other issues happening offline; like control, threats, violence or making you feel small or worthless, talking to someone can be helpful.

While Netsafe can offer support for issues occurring in the online space, issues offline are out of their scope.

The Police or Victim Support have staff that you can speak to about other serious issues inside a relationship but also consider speaking with a counsellor or Health Nurse about other issues to get an impartial opinion and support to think about your relationship.