Unsolicited nudes are nude images or videos that someone has taken of themselves and sent to someone who didn’t ask for them or say that it was OK to send them. Basically, it’s when nudes are sent without the consent of the person who is receiving them.

For some people, sending and swapping nudes can be a fun and healthy part of dating. While some people don’t mind receiving an unexpected nude, for some people it can be upsetting and uncomfortable – and it can actually be a form of sexual harassment. It always pays to get the OK from someone before you send them a nude. Check out our FAQS to find out everything you need to know about unsolicited nudes.

Is it ever OK to send unsolicited nudes?

If you’re thinking of sending a nude to someone you should always check that they actually want to receive it before you send it. If someone has told you that it was OK to send them in the past but doesn’t want to receive them anymore, then you should respect their decision and stop sending them. If you keep sending them nudes when they’ve said they don’t want to receive them, this is a form of harassment.

Is it against the law to send unsolicited nudes in New Zealand?

If you’re an adult and you send an unsolicited nude to another adult it is not against the law. If you’re sending multiple unsolicited nudes to a person that they don’t want to receive and haven’t agreed to, then this could be counted as harassment. The Harmful Digital Communications Act says that a digital communication shouldn’t be used to harass a person.

If you’re over the age of 16 it is illegal to send an unsolicited nude to a minor (or expose them to any other sexual content), and you could be liable to imprisonment under the Crimes Act. If you’re a young person and this has happened to you, then you can contact Netsafe for help, or talk to a trusted adult.

Someone sent me an unsolicited nude, what should I do?

 Here are a few actions that you can take depending on what you think is right for your situation:

  • Ask the person to stop sending nudes
  • Let the person know that it makes you feel uncomfortable and that they should have asked for consent before sending them
  • Block the profile/account of the person who sent it
  • Report the profile/account of the person who sent it
  • Block the phone number of the person by contacting your phone provider (E.g. Spark, Vodafone etc.)
  • If someone is harassing you by constantly sending you unsolicited nudes, you can contact Netsafe for free advice on 0508 NETSAFE, email help@netsafe.org.nz or by using our online reporting form.

If you’re a young person and someone has sent you a nude that makes you feel uncomfortable or an adult has sent you a nude, you could ask a trusted adult for advice about it. This could be your parent, aunt or uncle, older sibling or a teacher. You could also talk to the Police or ask a helpline service for advice, like Netsafe. We offer free advice with no judgement and can talk to you about what to do next. You can free text ‘Netsafe’ to 4282 seven days a week or call us for free on 0508 NETSAFE.

If someone sent me an unsolicited nude can I on-share it?

We’ve heard about some people who post or share unsolicited nudes that they’ve received to ‘out’ or ‘shame’ the person who sent it. In New Zealand it can be against the law to share someone else’s nude or nearly nude images without their consent – even if they willingly sent it to you in the first place. Sharing someone’s nudes online or by using any kind of digital technology (e.g. SMS) without their consent is called image based abuse and can be against the law in New Zealand. If you’ve been the victim of image based abuse, we can offer you help and advice.

 Getting help

If someone is harassing you by constantly sending you unsolicited nudes, you can contact Netsafe for free and confidential advice. We can talk to you about the situation and let you know what to do to keep yourself safe.

If you’re experiencing harassment online, we may be able to contact the person you believe is responsible to talk about the behaviour and try to resolve the situation, but we won’t do this without your permission. We may also be able to contact the person or organisation that runs the website, app or service that the person is sending the content on. Each situation is different and we’ll give you advice based on what’s been happening to you.

Contact Netsafe

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