Online bullying, abuse and harassment can be hard to deal with. We offer a free and confidential service to help you understand the options available to you for dealing with the situation. This includes other types of bullying and abuse using digital technology like voicemail and text.
WHAT DOES THIS LOOK LIKE?
We can offer advice for lots of different situations. This includes online bullying, abuse and harassment, and when someone has put something online that:
- Tries to get someone to hurt themselves
- Shares intimate images without consent (shared nudes, sometimes called revenge porn)
- Encourages other people to send harmful messages to someone
- Most people would think is very offensive
- Shares someone’s sensitive private information without their permission
- Makes a false allegation about someone
- Shares confidential information about someone without their permission
- Puts someone down because of their colour, race, ethnic or national origins, gender, religion, sexual orientation, or disability
- Is indecent or obscene
- Threatens to hurt someone or damage their property
HOW DOES NETSAFE’S SERVICE WORK?
When you contact Netsafe, our team will ask you questions to understand what’s happening. Once we know what’s going on, we can give you advice and may be able to assist you in resolving the issue.
We can give you tips on how to stay safe and discuss options to stop the abuse. Sometimes we can contact the person you believe is responsible for the communications to try to resolve it. We might also be able to contact the person or the organisation that runs the website, app or service that the content is on and ask if they can assist Netsafe.
As we are an impartial service, we focus on resolving the issue and don’t work on behalf of either party. We will never contact the person you believe has been harassing you without your permission.
Netsafe’s role under the Harmful Digital Communications Act (HDCA) is to assist with complaints of digital communications. We are not an enforcement agency, but do have a high success rate in helping people experiencing online harm.
Find out more about what happens when you make a complaint about harmful content to Netsafe. Not quite ready to talk to us? You can find advice about online bullying here.
HOW TO GET HELP
If you’re concerned about the immediate safety of you or someone else, call 111.
Fill out an online contact form, email email@example.com, text ‘Netsafe’ to 4282 or call us toll-free on 0508 NETSAFE (0508 638 723).
Can I contact Netsafe on behalf of someone else?
You can contact Netsafe for advice about a situation affecting another person, but Netsafe can’t take action unless the person affected agrees to it. We can provide advice if you contact us on behalf of someone else. If you are the parent, guardian or caregiver of a young person you can contact Netsafe on behalf of them. Teachers and school leaders can contact Netsafe on behalf of a student.
I’m a young person and I’m not quite sure how this works – what do I do?
Just give us a call, or complete an online contact form. You can choose whether you want us to call you back, or just email you. You can find out more on our page for young people.
I consented to nude photos/videos being produced at the time, but I thought they’d remain private – what can I do?
If you gave your consent to intimate images/video being produced, you can still get help if they’ve been shared without your consent. Read more about leaked photos, nudes and revenge porn here.
I don’t know if what I’m experiencing is serious enough to go to Netsafe. What should I do?
We can offer help for all situations and for people of all ages.
Do I need proof of the harassment?
It’s helpful if you have examples of what’s going on. If you can, take screenshots of the content that is being put online. You can find instructions about how to do this here.
I’m on holiday in New Zealand – can you still help me?
Yes. Anyone that is in New Zealand can contact Netsafe for help.
What if the person causing me harm is overseas?
Netsafe can assist with complaints if one of the parties involved is based in New Zealand, for more advice please get in touch.
I’m getting abuse from fake accounts – can you trace who is responsible?
Netsafe do not have investigative powers, we cannot trace who is behind fake accounts, however there are options available to you. Please contact us for further information.
We are committed to protecting the confidentiality and privacy of the information you provide to us. In some circumstance we may be required by law to share personal information with others, for example, where we are concerned for your safety or the safety of someone else.
We always act with respect and discretion when you discuss things with us, but sometimes, we might need to tell someone else. This could happen, for example, if we think you or another could be seriously harmed. Breaking a person’s confidentiality is not something we do unless we absolutely have to. And we always think about this carefully before we do it.