Image based abuse (sometimes called image based sexual abuse, revenge porn or sextortion) is the name for the non-consensual sharing of intimate images. It is a type of online sexual harassment and can be an offence under the Harmful Digital Communications Act. We can help remove the content as well as advise you on the options available.

What are intimate images?

Intimate images/videos can be of someone nude or semi-nude. Often these images are produced and shared with someone consensually – this doesn’t mean that this person has consent to share them with others under the law.

Image based abuse can also include altered images or videos to make it appear that a person is in an intimate image/video they didn’t produce.

Is it illegal?

Sharing (or threatening to share) nude or nearly nude images/videos of someone else without their consent can be an offence under the Harmful Digital Communications Act and a potential offence under other Acts. If prosecuted under the Harmful Digital Communications Act, the penalties can be a fine of up to $50,000 or up to two years’ jail for an individual, and up to $200,000 for a body corporate.

The majority of the criminal prosecutions for the Harmful Digital Communications Act in its first 18 months were for image based abuse.

How to get help if this has happened to you?

If someone has shared an intimate image/video of you,  report this to the police and contact Netsafe. We can help you get the online content removed and explain the options available under the law. Our service is free and confidential and we regularly deal with these types of reports.

We normally don’t need copies of the image/video, but we will need you to supply URLs to the content and to describe which image/video it is. This is so we can explain to the platform which content we want removed.

  1. Screenshot the content if possible and make a record of the URL of the content
  2. Report the content to the platform that it’s on if you’re able to (e.g. Facebook, Twitter, YouTube etc.)
  3. Report the profile/account of the person who shared the content to the platform (e.g. Facebook, Twitter etc.)
  4. Contact Netsafe if you would like further information on the options available to you. Our helpline is open from 8am – 8pm Monday to Friday and 9am – 5pm on weekends and public holidays
  • Text ‘Netsafe’ to 4282.
  • Email help@netsafe.org.nz
  • Call us toll free on 0508 NETSAFE (0508 638 723)
  • Complete an online report form at netsafe.org.nz/report

FAQs

What if I sent the images/video to the person, or we created them together?  Netsafe can help you have the content removed and we can explain the options available to you.  By sharing your intimate image/video, this does not mean that person has consent to share it with others under the law.

What should I do if someone sends me intimate images/videos? Do not share intimate images of other people without their consent. If you come across intimate images of others unintentionally, delete it immediately and do not pass it on. If you have shared intimate content of someone online without their consent delete it immediately. If you have done this, and would like to discuss the issue you can contact Netsafe for information.

How can Netsafe help? We can talk to you about the situation and let you know what options are available to you. If appropriate, we can work with the other person/people involved to reach a resolution, and may be able to contact online content hosts to request that the content be removed.

CONTACT NETSAFE

  • Text ‘Netsafe’ to 4282
  • Email help@netsafe.org.nz
  • Call us toll free on 0508 NETSAFE (0508 638 723)
  • Online report form at netsafe.org.nz/report