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Welcome to our FAQ Section

    • What happens if someone prints a ‘revenge porn’ picture and shows it to others?

      They may be guilty of commiting the offence. If the picture is shown to someone other than the intended victim and the other criteria for committing the offence are satisfied, then the sharer will have commited revenge pornography. 

    • Will everyone who re-tweets, shares or shows private sexual content become liable for the offence?

      Not unless their purpose in doing so is to cause the person(s) depicted in the photograph or film harm, embarassment or distress.

    • Does the offence only apply to images posted on the internet?

      No. The offence applies equally online and offline to ANY kind of disclosure of private sexual photographs or films (assuming that the other criteria in the offence are satisfied). This could include uploading images on the internet, sharing by text and e-mail, or showing someone a physical or electronic image.

    • Typically, what would have to be in an image to constitute revenge pornography?

      To fall within the offence, a photograph or film would have to be private and sexual. It could depict an individual’s exposed genitals, or be a picture of someone who is engaged in sexual behaviour or posing in a sexually provocative way, if what is shown is not of a kind ordinarily seen in public.

    • Would an image of a woman who was topless count as revenge pornography and if not, why not?

      The offence would only apply to a topless picture if a reasonable person would think that the image as a whole, or what was shown in it, was sexual and what was shown was not the kind of thing ordinarily seen in public.

      Obviously the disclosure of an entirely non-sexual image can cause distress, but we believe that the offence should be very specifically targeted at images that are of the most intimate kind. We would not, for example, want to include photographs of a woman sunbathing topless on a beach.

    • Does the offence apply to material which does not appear photographic?

      The offence is drafted so that it only applies to material which looks photographic and which originates from an original photograph or film recording. This is because the harm intended to be tackled by the offence is the misuse of intimate photographs or recordings.

    • Does the offence cover digitally manipulated photographs?

      The offence will still apply in principle to an image which appears photographic and originated from a photograph or film even if the original has been manipulated in some way.

      But the offence does not apply if it is only because of the manipulation that the film or photograph is private and sexual or if the intended victim is only depicted in a sexual way as a result of the manipulation.

      So, for example, a person who has non-consensually disclosed a photograph of his or former partner in order to cause them distress will not be able to avoid liability for the offence by changing their intended victim’s body shape. But a person who uses part of a picture of their partner from a non-sexual photograph and photoshops it onto a person posing in a sexual manner, will not commit the offence.

    • Would the offence cover photographs or films which are completely computer generated?

      No. While we accept that it would be distressing for such a photograph or film to be disclosed, we do not believe that such images have the potential to cause as much harm as private and sexual images that record real private events and are then disclosed.

    • Preserve evidence

      Take screenshots of any content that is online. Try and include the URL (website address) in the screenshot. Keep copies of any public or private messages – especially those of a threatening nature – together with the dates and times they were sent.

      We understand that the first reaction you have may be that you want all the content deleted immediately. This is your choice, but we do advise that if you want to seek legal action it may be positive to contact the police first before reporting the content and risk having evidence removed prematurely.

      Even if you know who is responsible, we advise that you stop communicating with that individual. Do not try and negotiate or bargain with them. If you feel it would offer you reassurance, block the perpetrator from your email, phone and social media.

      If they have asked for money/ goods/ intimate images etc in return for removing or not sharing content, we advise you NOT to send anything. Often they will just keep asking for more and more. 

      Make sure you have some personal support, perhaps a trusted friend or family member. 

    • Contact the police

      Going to the police may well feel like an intimidating prospect, but they are the right people to take action for you.

      You can go to your local police station, or call the police on the non emergency number 101. As this is still a fairly new offence, it is a good idea to go prepared: the evidence you have saved is essential for an investigation.

      Remember, you are a victim of crime. Be prepared that they may not know the best way to deal with your problem, but you should always expect a non-biased, non-judgemental response.

      Any harassment, online abuse, extortion or threat to post your intimate images without your consent is against the law.

      Make sure you keep a record of the log/case number so the police can quickly access your details if you want to add additional information or get an update on the investigation. It will also save you having to repeat what has happened over and over which may be distressing for you.

      Don’t give up!

      If at any point you feel like you are at risk of harm or fear for your safety contact the police immediately on 999. 

    • Reporting and removal of images

      Most social media sites do not allow nudity and many UK adult sites only allow content uploaded with consent.

      Depending on where the content is hosted you may be able to request that the site remove it. You can use reporting tools if they are available or email the website using their DMCA contact details, stating that the content has been posted without your consent.

      Digital Millennium Copyright Act 1999: if you took the pictures yourself, technically you own the copyright. Sites should not host these images without the owner’s consent so it worth filing a copyright claim.

      If you are asked to send a picture of yourself as evidence of identity we would encourage that you do not as we have had instances where these photos have also been shared on websites.

    • Removing content from search engines

      You may be able to request that the search engine which holds the material remove it. Google, Yahoo, Microsoft and Bing all have tools which enable you to remove search listings in your name.

      Google have also now allowed a “right to be forgotten” rule, which means that you can ask for actual content to be deleted, not just the references to your name. This only applies for content hosted in the EU http://bit.ly/TZ1qwj

      We also encourage that you raise all your privacy settings on your social media accounts to the maximum. 

    • Facebook

      'We don’t tolerate bullying or harassment on Facebook. We allow people to speak freely on matters and people of public interest on Facebook, but remove content that appears to purposefully target private individuals with the intention of degrading or shaming them. If you see anything on Facebook that makes you uncomfortable or think that breaks our rules, we encourage you to report it to our team of Community Operations specialists.'

      You can find advice on how to report problems on Facebook in our useful pocket guide: http://bit.ly/1A9XmuK

      There is also a contact form dedicated to sextortion and revenge porn: http://on.fb.me/1AnOLmQ

      For tips: http://on.fb.me/1z1iSNf

    • Twitter

      'Posting another person’s private and confidential information is a violation of Twitter's rules.'

      You can report directly from a Tweet or profile for posting your image without your consent. This route provides information about how to report violations https://support.twitter.com/articles/15789.

      You can report Revenge Pornography under abuse here: https://support.twitter.com/forms/abusiveuser. or copyright here: https://support.twitter.com/forms/dmca


    • Instagram

      'You may not post violent, nude, partially nude, discriminatory, unlawful, infringing, hateful, pornographic or sexually suggestive photos or other content via the Service. You must not defame, stalk, bully, abuse, harass, threaten, impersonate or intimidate people or entities and you must not post private or confidential information via the Service'

      How do I report something inappropriate when using Instagram on the web?

      1. To report someone's account, go to their profile and click next to their username. Select Report user. ...
      2. To report a post, click below the post. Then click Report inappropriate and follow the on-screen instructions.

      This link takes you to the Instagram help centre https://help.instagram.com/372161259539444.

      For reporting photos and videos that violate your privacy rights see here: https://help.instagram.com/contact/504521742987441

    • Snapchat

      'When using Snapchat you can either report directly via the app, or via this form at http://bit.ly/1zQmBgE'

    • Tumblr

      'We at Tumblr understand that non-consensual pornography and other types of cyber exploitation are multi-faceted issues that not only infringe on our users’ privacy but also act as a vector for public shaming, bullying, and other harassment. As a result, we have a zero tolerance policy when it comes to revenge porn.'

      Such content may be reported to us either via our dedicated Abuse email or by flagging the post in-product.

      Our Trust & Safety team will investigate each and every claim and take action in accordance with our policies.

      Email: abuse@tumblr.com

      Abuse Form: https://www.tumblr.com/abuse/privacy

    • Google/Youtube

      'At Google we know that revenge porn is upsetting and distressing for victims, so we have policies against it on our hosted platforms. We also have a clear process for users to let us know if they identify content on Google platforms that violates our policies.'

      For Youtube and Google+ please flag offending content using the in-product user flags. Under a video there is an icon with three dots that you press and click on the report option. 

      Google have also now allowed a “right to be forgotten” rule, which means that you can ask for actual content to be deleted, not just the references to your name. This only applies for content hosted in the EU http://bit.ly/TZ1qwj

      You may be able to request that the search engine which holds the material remove it. Google have tools which enable you to remove search listings with RP content. 


    • Flickr

      'Yahoo deeply respects the privacy of our users and takes matters of abuse very seriously. We are committed to providing an enjoyable and harassment free experience on our network, and as part of that commitment, revenge porn is not tolerated. If confronted with potential revenge porn on Yahoo, we encourage users to report the content using the Report Abuse link or Flag icon on the appropriate product. Yahoo is committed to investigating reports and will take appropriate action per our Terms of Service.

      For quick access on how to report abuse on Flickr, visit the link below: https://uk.help.yahoo.com/kb/SLN7389.html?impressions=true


    • Does the new offence mean that website operators will have to remove revenge pornography from their sites?

      Creating a new offence does not itself force website operators to take action in relation to this kind of material. But it sends a clear message that the dissemination of this kind of material is illegal and we expect reputable operators to take that message seriously.

      Where a forum is specifically provided for the dissemination of this kind of material then the provider of the website could, depending on all the circumstances, be guilty of encouraging or assisting the commission of the new offence even if they are based abroad. There may of course be practical difficulties about prosecuting foreign companies.

    • Does the offence apply if the material is posted on a website hosted abroad?

      The offence will extend to England and Wales. To be convicted of the offence the court would need to consider that it was in substance an offence committed within the jurisdiction.

      Where an individual and their intended victims were physically located in England it would be possible for the offence to be committed even if the offence was committed using a website hosted abroad.

    • Why does the offence provide a defence for disclosures relating to journalistic activity?

      The offence is not committed where a person discloses material in the course of, or with a view to, the publication of journalistic material so long as they reasonably believe that the publication in question would be in the public interest.

      Whilst we are determined to tackle the misuse of this kind of private sexual material we recognise that there will, occasionally, be circumstances where such pictures will evidence a story of genuine public interest. It is not our intention to fetter the freedom of the press to publish such stories and we have therefore made sure that the offence would not apply in such cases.

    • What does ‘public interest’ mean relating to disclosures for journalistic activity?

      ‘Public interest’ is a term that is used in a number of other pieces of legislation. In this case, a defence will be established where it can be shown that the photograph or film was disclosed in the course of, or with a view to, the publication of journalistic material (for example by the journalist or by their source). If that is the case, the defendant must also show that they had a reasonable belief, in the particular circumstances, that there was a legitimate need for the public to have access to the journalistic material.

    • What is the purpose of the defence where the material had previously been disclosed for reward?

      However unpleasant it may be, we do not think it would be right to criminalise people who pass on images which have previously been commercially published, for example, in a pornographic magazine, whatever their motives, unless the person passing them on has some reason to believe that their intended victim had not consented when the material was published for reward.

    • Reputation management

      Some companies claim to clean up your online reputation by requesting the content is removed on your behalf. Most charge large amounts of money and there is no guarantee that the content won’t just be uploaded again immediately.

      We strongly suggest that you do not pay these 'reputation management' companies (particularly if you are directed to them from revenge porn websites): everything they can do on your behalf, you can achieve yourself (or with a little help from us) free of charge. It is important to understand that NO-ONE can guarantee 100% removal of images.

    • What else can I do?

      If you know the person responsible (for example, if they are an ex partner threatening to post images of you) you can apply to a local court for an injunction to stop the person posting it anywhere online. Here is some guidance on the process, kindly provided by
      J Cooper Solicitors, London.

    • 1. What is an injunction?

      You will no doubt be familiar with terms such as “injunction” or “restraining order.” In England and Wales there are two types of orders available. These are non-molestation/occupation orders and injunctions under the Protection from Harassment Act 1997. The purpose of these orders is to restrain the behaviour of the person (the Respondent) named in the order against the party applying for the order (the Applicant). This will often take the form of an Order directing that the Respondent is not to use or threaten violence, intimidate harass or pester, communicate with the Applicant by any means and also afford protection relating to the Applicant’s residence. Other more specific types of orders can be included, such as postings through social media, at the discretion of the Court hearing the application. Orders can similarly be made protecting children of the family.

      An occupation order must be sought where the Applicant seeks to exclude the Respondent from a property that he has a right to occupy. This might be because they are a joint tenant or because they have “matrimonial home rights” because the parties lived there during their marriage or civil partnership. The effect of this type of order will either be to direct the Respondent to vacate within a fixed amount of time, or to remain away from the property having already left.  Courts will be reluctant to render a Respondent homeless in the absence of evidence that they have alternate accommodation and indeed hearing from the Respondent at an adjourned hearing date.

    • 2. Who can apply?

      To apply for a non-molestation order or occupation order, the Applicant and Respondent must be 'associated persons', meaning that they should either be married/civil partners or divorced/post-dissolution, have lived together, had a child together, be related or have been in an intimate relationship of a significant duration.

      The Courts give a fairly broad interpretation to these terms such as 'cohabitation' and 'intimate relationship', so as not to exclude people from being able to seek Orders of this type. For those people who are seeking orders against others, i.e. a person who is not 'associated' to them e.g. a neighbour, former friend or a 'one night stand', an injunction can be sought under the Protection from Harassment Act.

      To apply for these orders you must establish 'a course of conduct' amounting to harassment. This means that there must have been at least two incidents of harassment. Again, a fairly broad interpretation is given to what amounts to a 'course of conduct'.

    • 3. How do I apply?

      Applications must be made with the correct application form and with a statement in support. The statement should include details of the background of the relationship of the parties, a list of the abuse/harassment that the Applicant has suffered and also details of why urgent Court intervention is required. The statement should be detailed enough to give the Judge a flavour of the history and how this has impacted on the Applicant. All applications can be made urgently to the local County Court.

      Ordinarily, each day a Judge is allocated to deal with 'urgent business' meaning that Orders will be granted the same day. Equally, orders are normally granted 'ex parte'. This means that the Respondent is not informed that the application is being made to prevent threats being made to the Applicant in advance of the application being heard.

      Application forms are available to download free at http://bit.ly/1Ao53My.

    • 4. Do I need to have proof of abuse or harassment?

      No. In many cases, where incidents occur 'behind closed doors', there are no documents or physical evidence supporting the allegations made. This does not matter. Your statement to the Court would be sufficient to obtain the order, provided that the allegations warrant the Order sought.

    • 5. Do I need to have a solicitor?

      It is obviously preferable to have the benefit of legal representation. This means that you will have the benefit of considered advice and the support of your legal representative acting on your behalf. This being said, in urgent cases, nothing prevents you making an application yourself without a solicitor present, provided that you have your statement and application. One way to save money on solicitors’ fees would be to have a solicitor look over your application and statement to check it and then go to the Court and make the application to the Court yourself.

    • 6. Will I have to pay Court fees?

      Since the 22nd April 2014, all Court fees for non-molestation and occupation orders have been scrapped and therefore no fee is charged on applications of this type. 

    • 7. Can I get Legal Aid?

      It depends on your financial circumstances. Those receiving Income Support, Job Seekers’ Allowance, Pension Credit and Employment Support Allowance with no savings or property would automatically qualify for Legal Aid. Those who are on a low income may also qualify.

      To find out whether you would qualify, you can enter your information into the Legal Aid Eligibility Calculator, which can be found at http://bit.ly/1E98Ujo.

      If you do not qualify for Legal Aid and you elect to instruct a solicitor, they can give you advice regarding you recovering your costs from the Respondent when you apply to Court. The Court has the power to Order that one party pay some or all of the other’s costs.

    • 8. What happens in the Court room?

      It might feel like a very daunting experience to go before a Judge but be reassured that Family Court Judges are normally very sympathetic and nice people. You will certainly not be confronted by a white-wigged old man in an oak panelled room. Court rooms generally look more like classrooms or a meeting room and District Judges are addressed less formally as 'sir' or 'madam', rather than the more stuffy 'your honour'. You are unlikely to be in the Court room for more than about 5 or 10 minutes. Family hearings are all held in private and so there is no public gallery, no jury and the only people allowed in to the Courtroom will be the Judge and the Judge’s Clerk.

    • 9. What happens when the Order is granted?

      Once the order is granted, it takes around 1-2 hours for the Order to be typed up and produced by the Court. For this reason, it is best to make an application in the morning to avoid having to wait until the next day for the order to be made available. When you have the order, it is incumbent upon the Applicant to bring it to the Respondent’s attention, otherwise it is not binding on them. The best way to do this is to give the order to a process server, who is a rather like a bailiff, to hand the Order to the Respondent personally. They normally charge between £20 to £30 per hour for their work, although some offer fixed fees for serving the Order. The Court can make an order that Orders can begin from when the Respondent is made aware of its terms. This means that electronic service through Facebook, Twitter or email would be possible. This being said, personal service is the best form of service from the perspective of the Court. Once service is completed, a statement must be signed by the person who undertook service of the order and sent both to the Court granting the Order and also to the Applicant’s local police station.

    • 10. Are there any further hearings?

      Normally, the Court will make provision for a further hearing called a “return date”, when both parties attend. This is to afford the Respondent the opportunity to respond to the allegations made and to state whether they object to a further order being made.

      Increasingly, in London in particular, the Court will grant an Order for a period of 12 months at the first hearing and then put in a provision that the Respondent can apply to vary or discharge the order, should he/she elect to do so. This should be requested to avoid the stress of attending a further hearing.

      For this “return date” hearing, if you are attending alone, you can ask for special measures to be put into place, such as a security guard to be posted, separate waiting areas and to use staff entrances and exits.

      We would also recommend that you contact the Personal Support Unit at the Court (if the Court has one) or Victim Support to establish whether someone independent can accompany you.

      If the Respondent attends this hearing, they could either consent to the order or contest the application. If it is contested, a further hearing would have to take place to consider the merits of the application and whether the Orders should continue.

      Normally, the Court will make provision for a further hearing called a “return date”, when both parties attend. This is to afford the Respondent the opportunity to respond to the allegations made and to state whether they object to a further order being made.

      Increasingly, in London in particular, the Court will grant an Order for a period of 12 months at the first hearing and then put in a provision that the Respondent can apply to vary or discharge the order, should he/she elect to do so. This should be requested to avoid the stress of attending a further hearing.

      For this “return date” hearing, if you are attending alone, you can ask for special measures to be put into place, such as a security guard to be posted, separate waiting areas and to use staff entrances and exits.

      We would also recommend that you contact the Personal Support Unit at the Court (if the Court has one) or Victim Support to establish whether someone independent can accompany you.

      If the Respondent attends this hearing, they could either consent to the order or contest the application. If it is contested, a further hearing would have to take place to consider the merits of the application and whether the Orders should continue.


    • 11. Would have to speak to the Respondent?

      No. If you do not wish to do this, all points can be addressed to the Judge at the hearing without yourself and the Respondent coming into contact with each other. You would, however, be in the same Court room.

    • 12. How long do Orders last for?

      The Court will normally make orders for a period of 12 months, however, this can be extended for a longer period if the harassment continues.

    • 13. What do I do if the injunction order is broken by the Respondent?

      Immediately report the incident to the Police, there is no such thing as a 'minor' breach, such as a text message or Facebook post. A failure to act on alleged breaches suggests to the Respondent that you do not object to such communications and it would invite them to continue. A zero tolerance approach must be adhered to.

    • 14. If prosecuted, a Respondent can be sent to prison for up to 5 years, or fined or both for breaching the Order, depending on the severity of the alleged breach.

      If the Police elect to take no action, the Applicant can apply to the Court which made the Order to have the Respondent committed to prison for contempt of Court. This is punishable by up to 2 years' imprisonment, or a fine, or both. If you seek an Order for committal, some form of evidence would be required to support the application, as the Judge must be satisfied 'beyond reasonable doubt' that the Order was breached. If you receive text messages, emails or Facebook posts, try to 'screen shot' or print evidence of these so that you can rely on them later. Equally, a log or diary of alleged incidents can help you to recall the dates and times that alleged breaches took place.

    • 15. Free legal advice

      We are delighted to be partnering with Queen Mary University of London to assist victims of revenge porn in accessing free legal advice via their SPITE (Sharing and Publishing Images to Embarrass) service. SPITE is a free legal advice service provided to anyone who has been a victim of ‘revenge porn’, or subjected to the ‘sharing and publication of images to embarrass’ by another individual http://bit.ly/1C4tRg2.


    • The Queen Mary Legal Advice Centre: SPITE

      The SPITE project (Sharing and Publishing Images to Embarrass) provides free, confidential legal advice to victims of revenge porn. It is committed to offering a confidential and sensitive environment for victims of revenge porn who are seeking free legal advice. The team are specifically trained on the developing law in this area, as well as to the sensitivities of those who need our help.  If you contact the enquiry line, or send an enquiry email, a member of the team will contact you back to take a brief summary of your issue to see whether they are able to book you in for an appointment. Appointments can be in person, over the telephone or over Skype.  The appointment is led by a specially trained undergraduate law student who is at all times supervised by a practising barrister or solicitor.  Your advice will be given in writing 14 days after your appointment.

      The SPITE project aims are:

      1.      to make free legal advice as available as possible;

      2.      to help clients understand the legal implications of the situation;

      3.      to inform clients of the legal remedies for the act against them;

      4.      to support those who have been called to court to give evidence; and

      5.       to provide clients with all the possible options to enable an informed decision to be made.

      To make an enquiry you can complete the form at; http://www.lac.qmul.ac.uk/contact/index.html, email lac@qmul.ac.uk or telephone 020 7882 3931.

    • What can I do about how I am feeling?

      You have made a positive step in retaking control and proactively seeking support. Acknowledging and addressing your feelings are important. You may be feeling anxiety, anger, guilt, shame or self-blame, feelings of depression and betrayal. What is happening is not your fault,

      Revenge pornography is a traumatic and distressing experience. Having a support network can help, sharing what is happening with people who care about you, as can talking to a counsellor or your GP.

    • Galop

      For LGBTQ domestic abuse issues you can get help from Galop. Website: http://www.galop.org.uk/domesticabuse/. Phone: 0800 999 5428.

    • National Domestic Violence Helpline

      The 24-Hour Freephone National Domestic Violence Helpline, run in partnership between Refuge and Women’s Aid.

      Call 0808 2000 247. If you can’t get through please leave a voicemail message with a safe time for one of the experts to call you back. Alternatively you can email helpline@refuge.org.uk

    • The National Stalking Helpline

      If someone is repeatedly circulating the links, or if the image abuse forms part of a wider pattern of harassing behaviour, The National Stalking Helpline: 0808 802 300 Website: www.stalkinghelpline.org

    • Victim Support

      Another source of support for you, or others affected by revenge porn. Website: https://www.victimsupport.org.uk Phone: 0808 16 89 111. 

    • The Muslim Womens Network Uk

      The only national Muslim women's organisation in Britain, they work to improve social justice and equality for Muslim women and girls. Website: http://www.mwnuk.co.uk/ Phone: 0800 999 5786. 

    • Stop Revenge Porn Scotland

      Whilst supporting victims from the whole UK, if you are a victim of revenge porn in Scotland there is also a local campaign: Website: https://stoprevengepornscotland.wordpress.com.

    • Cyber Civil Rights Initiative

      For victims outside the UK, or those seeking additional information you can visit https://www.cybercivilrights.org/, a US based charity which campaigns for law change and helps raise awareness for victims.

    • Digital Trust

      If you are a victim of digital abuse such as online harassment from an ex partner, please contact www.digital-trust.org/digital-abuse

    • Rape Crisis England & Wales

      Rape Crisis England & Wales is a national charity and the umbrella body for our network of independent member Rape Crisis organisations. Phone: 0808 802 9999. Website: www.rapecrisis.org.uk

    • ManKind Initiative

      A confidential helpline is available for all men across the UK suffering from domestic violence or domestic abuse by their current or former wife or partner (including same-sex partner). Phone: 01823 334244. Website: http://new.mankind.org.uk.

    • Relate

      Relate offers counselling, support and information for all relationships. Phone: 0300 100 1234. Website: www.relate.org.uk.

    • Victims Of Internet Crime

      A website where victims can share their stories, coping experiences and seek support from one another: http://voic.org.uk/.


    • Advice from Relate

      The fall-out of dealing with someone from your past sharing intimate images of you online can be huge. It may affect your work, home life, health and could hang over future relationships. But remember, you are not the person in the wrong and, quite possibly, the person who has done this to you may have committed a criminal offence. But moving on is tough. Decisions like whether to tell a new partner what has happened can seem daunting.

      Here is some great advice from Relate on how to have that conversation. Most of us have done something in our past we regret. But whereas some mistakes eventually fade away, mistakes made online are far harder to erase. It’s like permanent graffiti. So images of you have appeared online and you can’t remove them. You want to move on but you’re not sure if you can, or how to.

      One of the biggest questions people in this situation face is deciding whether to tell a new partner. If you decide this feels best for you, it is much better coming from you than someone else or your new partner discovering it themselves. The old ‘honesty is the best policy’ adage is about right here, tough though it can be especially in the early stages of a new relationship. However, if you care about and trust your new partner it’s probably best to come out and tell them. Keep it simple and straight. Don’t evade or talk around the issue. It’s much better to come out with it but set the scene first. 'I have something from my past I need to tell you about', is a good starting point. Make the point that you’d rather they found out directly from you than from someone else. It may help to have a practice run of this conversation with a friend. Or try saying it to yourself first, in your bedroom or to the bathroom mirror. The more you say it out loud, the less daunting the words will seem.

      Also it’s vital you don’t beat yourself up about this. While you may regret what happened, it isn’t you who’s made it public. You are not the one in the wrong. You don’t have to be defined by this – you can’t change the past but it doesn’t mean your life is over. So try to learn to accept it, and it will be so much easier to ask a new partner to as well. Doing something nice for yourself can also help to bolster self-worth after a really difficult experience. So take time to be kind to yourself and find others who are kind to you, too. Eventually you will move on, though when you’re in the middle of it or it’s just happened, it’s hard to see that you’ll ever feel that way. But you will.

      You can contact them directly for relationship advice

      Phone: 0300 100 1234 Website: www.relate.org.uk.

    • Under 18s

      We are a helpline for over 18s and do not consider minors under the age of 18 to be committing Revenge Pornography as the drivers, motivations and responses to sharing intimate images are different for children and adults. 

      UK law states that you have to be 16 to be legally old enough to consent to have sex, but it is illegal to take, distribute, or download images of people under the age of 18. Internet sites are not allowed to host this content. If you were under the age of 18 when the images were taken you can contact us for advice and support reporting and removing content.

      If you are still a minor we understand you may not want your parents to know, be embarrassed or nervous about their reaction, but telling someone is the best action to take. You have been a victim and deserve help.

      If you find indecent images of a person under the age of 18 you should always report them to The Internet Watch Foundation (www.iwf.org.uk). You can also contact the Child Exploitation and Online Protection Centre and report to them online if you are worried about talking to someone directly (https://www.ceop.police.uk/Ceop-Report/).

      Childline and the IWF have formed a partnership to help young people remove explicit images online. If you are 18 and under you can contact Childline on 0800 1111 who will request verification of the name and date of birth of the young person which will remain confidential. 

      These resources offer advice to people that have shared content: http://swgfl.org.uk/products-services/esafety/resources/So-You-Got-Naked-Online/Content/Sexting-Toolkit.

    • Sextortion

      Sextortion is a crime that is increasingly reported to the helpline.  Also known as ‘cyber enabled blackmail’, in the majority of cases individuals meet via social media or on dating websites and form a relationship through conversation. The blackmailer often assumes the identity of an attractive man or woman who, after gaining the victim's trust, will persuade them into unclothing, sending intimate images or videos of sexual acts via webcam.

      The sexual content or information is recorded unbeknownst to the victim and then used to blackmail them for money, sexual favours or further sexual content. Sextortion can be committed by individuals or international, organised crime groups.

      Do not pay or give the perpetrators anything that is being demanded.

      We encourage victims to keep all messages as evidence, immediately cease all contact with the individual and report the matter to the local police on the non emergency number 101.

      Victims will often feel ‘silly’ or ‘shamed’. This is not the case: the fault is with the perpetrator(s) who have violated the trust of the victim and abused that power as a means of coercion.

      The National Crime Agency recently ran a campaign to raise the awareness and understanding of sextortion. There is more information here: