Some things to think about

Remember, 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.


Are you still on good terms?

If you know who had the photos/video and you still get on, the first step might be getting in touch with them.

You can then work out if they are the person that shared them or if their phone (or other device) has been left open, hacked or accessed by someone else.

If they genuinely have not shared them they could be helpful in finding out who else could be involved.

If it was them that shared them, and they are willing to help, they are the best person to delete or remove the photos/video because they know exactly where they were first shared, BUT there are still steps to take.   Just because the originals get taken down, this does not mean everything is gone.  There could still be copies out there.

Netsafe can help here to find out where else they might be.

If you are not talking anymore or things got nasty, you can still report photos or videos to Facebook and other Social media sites or contact the webmaster of websites to get them taken down.

Netsafe can also help by getting in contact with them for you and also taking other steps.


Sharing nudes without your permission 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 Explained

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 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.

Can I change my mind?

Yes.  You are also able to change your mind if things happen or 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.

What if the person took the photos in the first place?  Can they do what they want with them?

No.  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.

Find out more about the law and your rights below


What if I am under 16?

If you are under 16 and share photos with someone over 16, even if you have done this willingly, charges could still be made around indecent communication with a young person under 16.

This is also true if you are over 16 and have nude/intimate photos on your phone/device of someone under 16 (even if you did not ask for them).

If someone over 16 asks for an indecent image of someone under 16 AND THEN begins communicating in a way that could be considered ‘sexual grooming’ with the end aim being to meet them in person, this could be against the law.

BUT, it is not an offence for someone over 16 to ask someone under 16 for a nude (or semi nude) image or video.


Netsafe can offer you Support

If you would like help, information or advice around nude images, including getting the content removed online you can contact Netsafe.

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

They can also explain the options available to you and talk to you about the Harmful Digital Communications Act.

To help get the content removed, they won’t necessarily need copies of the image/video, but they will need you to supply URLs to the content and to describe which image/video it is. This is so that they can explain to the platform which content they are requesting they remove.

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 


Not on good terms?

If the last thing you want to be doing is getting in touch with the person who you believe has shared the images, knowing their details means you can provide these to Netsafe or the Police.

Netsafe can then get in touch with them directly to encourage them to take down the images/video to avoid having to appear in a district court.

If they do not agree, an application can be made to the court to officially request a take down.

Nude images (especially if you are under16) that are shared publicly (without permission) do break the law so can be reported directly to the Police and they can act more quickly if you have provided contact details of the person who shared them.

The police can then charge them with breaching the Harmful Digital Communications Act and they would be arrested and would have to appear in court (or in a Youth court if they are 14-16).


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 as 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

It also has some great information about contacting Webmasters.


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 as much of 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.


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 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 do speak to someone.