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/digital 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
WHAT DOES NETSAFE DO?
When you contact us, our friendly team will ask you some questions to understand what’s happening. Once we know what’s going on, we can give advice on what you can do, and we may be able to assist you in resolving the issue.
We can give you tips on how to stay safe and discuss options you could take to stop the abuse. Sometimes we can contact the person you believe is responsible for the communications to discuss ways in which this could be resolved. We are an impartial service, which means we don’t work on behalf of either party, we instead try to address the dispute that’s going on.
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.
Netsafe’s role under the Harmful Digital Communications Act (HDCA) is to assist with complaints about digital communications that someone has claimed has harmed them in some way. It’s important to note we are not an enforcement agency, therefore it is not our role to reprimand or punish people and we cannot force people or online content hosts to do the actions we propose.
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.
Netsafe will never contact the person who you believe has been harassing you without your permission.
HOW TO GET HELP
Fill out an online contact form, email firstname.lastname@example.org, text ‘Netsafe’ to 4282 or call us toll-free on 0508 NETSAFE (0508 638 723).
Our contact centre is open 8am – 8pm Monday to Friday, and 9am – 5pm on weekends.
If you’re concerned about the immediate safety of you or someone else, call 111.
WHY CONTACT NETSAFE?
Netsafe is an independent, not for profit NZ organisation focused on online safety. We provide support and education to help people stay safe online.
Under The Harmful Digital Communications Act (the Act), Netsafe has been chosen to offer a free service for people in New Zealand to help with online bullying, harassment and abuse.
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 targeted in the incident agrees to it. We can still provide information if you contact us on behalf of someone else. If you are the parent, guardian or caregiver of a young person you are able to contact Netsafe on behalf of them. Teachers and school leaders can contact Netsafe on behalf of a student.
Is the service free?
Netsafe’s service is free and confidential.
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 more information about contacting us 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 at the time, 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 – big or small. If you’re not quite ready to contact us, you can find online bullying advice here.
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.
Netsafe protects the confidentiality of information obtained in the course of our service, consistent with legal requirements. Netsafe also respects the privacy of the parties, however, 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.
If you have questions about this you can ask us for more information. Netsafe’s full Confidentiality and Information Sharing Policy is available online.