Image-based sexual abuse (sometimes referred to as ‘revenge porn’) is a criminal offence.

It’s when someone shares sexually explicit images or videos of another person without their consent, and with the aim of causing them distress or harm.

It refers to materials shared both online and offline, and includes uploading images to the internet and social media channels, sharing by text and email, and showing someone a physical or electronic image or video.

Anyone can be affected by image-based sexual abuse, but the perpetrator will often be an ex-partner or person known to you.

Image-based sexual abuse is a violation of privacy and people who have been targeted often feel humiliated, angry or depressed.

You might feel too ashamed or embarrassed to report the crime to the police.

If you’ve experienced image-based sexual abuse it’s important to remember that you’re not to blame – only the offender is responsible for this crime taking place.

If someone has posted explicit images of you online, report the incident to the website where the images were posted and ask for them to be removed.

If you decide to report the crime to the police, try to keep evidence of the incident by taking a record and screenshots of any posts or messages.

If you need further advice on how to get explicit online material removed, contact the Revenge Porn Helpline on 0345 6000 459.

Once someone has sexually explicit images or videos of you, it’s hard to control how they use them. Here are some tips to help you stay safe online:

  • Even if you’re in a relationship, think carefully before you share any sexual images with anyone, regardless of whether this is online, in person or via text message.
  • Check your privacy settings on social media regularly to keep them up to date.
  • Don’t share personal information or contact details online.
  • Turn your webcam off when you’re not using it.

When you report a crime to the police, they should automatically ask if you’d like help from an organisation like Victim Support. But anyone affected by crime can contact us directly – you don’t need to talk to the police to get our help.

You can get in touch by:

You can also create a free account on My Support Space – an online resource containing interactive guides to help you manage the impact crime has had on you.

If English is not your first language and you’d like support, call our Supportline and let us know which language you speak. We’ll call you back with an interpreter as soon as possible. We also welcome calls via Relay UK and SignLive (BSL).

Families and friends affected by crime can also contact us for support and information. If you’re a child or young person under 18 and are looking for support, visit our children and young people website for information and tips.