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Welcome to our FAQ Section

    • 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 may have is to want to delete all the content immediately. This is your choice, but we do advise that if you want to seek legal action it may be best 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 DO NOT send anything. Often they will just keep asking for more and more. 

      Make sure you have some personal support, perhaps from 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 their non emergency number 101. As this is still a fairly new offence, it is a good idea to go prepared as 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 your 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.

      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 on the website, or email them using their DMCA* contact details, stating that the content has been posted without your consent.

      If you are struggling with getting content removed, you can contact us for support. Whilst there are no guarantees, we are viewed as trusted flaggers by many of the sites where this kind of content is uploaded, and as a result have a very good success rate with removals. 

      If you are asked to send a picture of yourself as confirmation of identity when requesting removals, we would strongly advise that you DO NOT do this- victims have had instances where this photo ID has gone on to be shared on the website alongside their intimate content.

      *Digital Millennium Copyright Act 1999: Copyright law that indicates if you took the images yourself, e.g. selfie, that you technically you own the copyright and therefore have a right to say where it can, or cannot, be shared.

    • Removing content from search engines

      Google have a 'right to be forgotten' rule, within which they state: 'a ruling by the Court of Justice of the European Union (C-131/12, 13 May 2014) found that certain people can ask search engines to remove specific results for queries that include their name, where the interests in those results appearing are outweighed by the person's privacy rights.'- http://bit.ly/TZ1qwj

      Whilst this request does not remove the content from the website itself, it does remove it from Google search engines. This can be helpful in minimising the damage content can have on an individual.

      Yahoo and Microsoft/Bing also have tools which can help you to make these requests:

      We would always encourage that you raise all your privacy settings on your social media accounts to the maximum. This can help to prevent individuals from targeting you and from the content being linked to you via search engines.

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

      To fall within the offence, an image or video would have to be intimate, private and/or sexual in nature. 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. Typically, it would be viewed as something not ordinarily seen in public (the law would not, for example, include photographs of a woman sunbathing topless on a beach).

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

      No. The offence applies equally online and offline to any kind of intimate, private or sexual images/videos shared without consent, specifically to cause distress or embarassment.

      This could include uploading content on to the internet, sharing it by text and e-mail, or showing someone a physical or electronic copy.

    • Will everyone who re-tweets or shares the intimate content be committing an offence?

      The UK law on revenge porn depicts that the content must be shared with an intent to cause an individual distress or embarassment. The police would therefore need clear evidence that every person other than the perpetrator had such intent when they shared it. For example, someone re-tweeting a post might not have been aware that the victim did not consent to it being shared.

       

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

      The UK law on revenge porn applies to offences commited both online as well as offline. If this individual shared intimate content of someone without consent, with an intent to cause them distress or embarassment, then they have commited a crime.

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

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

      We completely emphaise that an image of this nature can still cause an individual significant distress, even if it does not fall within the guidelines of the law. We can advise you on how to access more appropriate support if what's happened to you does not fall within our specalist remit.

    • Does the offence cover digitally manipulated images?

      Unfortunately, the UK law on revenge porn does not currently include images that have been photoshopped to look intimate and/or sexual. It would however include an image that had been edited in some way if the original image was intimate/sexual in nature to begin with.

      For example, a person who has shared an intimate image of their former partner in order to cause them distress, would still be breaking the law even if they edited the image to change the victim's body shape. But a person who uses part of an image of their ex-partner from a non-sexual image and photoshops it onto a person posing in a sexual manner, will not be commiting this specific offence.

    • Would the offence cover images or videos which are completely computer generated?

      Unfortunately, UK law on revenge porn does not currently include images or videos which are entirely computer generated, although we completely emphaise that this may be incredibly distressing for an individual nevertheless. 

      It may be that another offence has been commited, for example, malicious communications or harassment, if an individual is creating and sharing computer-generated content to cause someone significant distress. If this is the case, individuals should contact the police on their non-emergency number 101 for further advice.

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

      This offence only applies to material which is photographic in nature, and which originates from an original image or video recording.

      If other information has been shared in a malicious nature, it may be that another offence has been commited and you should seek advice from the police on their non-emergency number 101.

    • Facebook

      'We remove content that threatens or promotes sexual violence or exploitation. This includes the sexual exploitation of minors and sexual assault. To protect victims and survivors, we also remove photographs or videos depicting incidents of sexual violence and images shared in revenge or without permission from the people in the images.'

      You can report intimate content shared without consent on Facebook via this form: http://bit.ly/1KiatdD

      Facebook operate a 'hashing' tool for victims whose intimate content is being shared on their platform. If you report the intimate images/videos through the specified form above, it allows Facebook to automatically 'hash' the content before they remove it. Any attempt to re-upload this content on to Facebook from the perpetrator should then immediately be denied.

      For further guidance from Facebook on what to do if intimate content is shared without consent on Facebook, click the following link: http://bit.ly/2o6yrWr

      You can also find advice on heightening your Facebook security in this useful pocket guide: http://bit.ly/1A9XmuK

    • Twitter

      'You may not post or share intimate photos or videos of someone that were produced or distributed without their consent.'

      You can find out more about The Twitter Rules by clicking on the following link: http://bit.ly/2j9xU9n

      You can report directly from a tweet when reporting intimate content shared without consent, or through the following form: http://bit.ly/2nGV5ZT

      This link also provides further information about how to report this type of violation on Twitter: http://bit.ly/LMVQsU

    • 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'

      You can report intimate content shared without consent to Instagram via this form: http://bit.ly/2BZOFZd, or within the app via the following method: To report a post, click below the post. Then click report inappropriate and follow the on-screen instructions.

      Instagram operate a 'hashing' tool for victims whose intimate content is being shared on their platform. If you report the intimate images/videos through the specified form above, it allows Instagram to automatically 'hash' the content before they remove it. Any attempt to re-upload this content on to Instagram from the perpetrator should then immediately be denied.

      For more guidance from Instagram on having your intimate images shared without consent, click here: http://bit.ly/2y7QGiO

    • Snapchat

      Snapchat Community Guidelines do not allow intimate images shared without consent to remain on their platform. You can find out more information about their community guidelines here: http://bit.ly/2AJVika

      When reporting this violation, you should report directly within the app, or via the following form: http://bit.ly/2q4FFfk

    • Tumblr

      'Absolutely do not post non-consensual pornography—that is, private photos or videos taken or posted without the subject's consent.'

      You can report intimate images shared without consent to Tumblr's Trust & Safety team via the following form: http://bit.ly/2BNI03c

      You can also read more about Tumblr's Community Guidelines by clicking on the following link: http://bit.ly/1URHvMk

    • 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. You can find more information about this here: http://bit.ly/2AJu5f3 and here: http://bit.ly/2BSUOp0

      Google have a 'right to be forgotten' rule, within which they state: 'a ruling by the Court of Justice of the European Union (C-131/12, 13 May 2014) found that certain people can ask search engines to remove specific results for queries that include their name, where the interests in those results appearing are outweighed by the person's privacy rights.'- http://bit.ly/TZ1qwj

      Whilst this request does not remove the content from the website itself, it does remove it from Google search engines. This can be helpful in minimising the damage content can have on an individual.

    • Flickr

      'Flickr has a zero tolerance policy towards sharing adult or sexualized content of another person without that person’s consent (Non-Consensual Pornography).'

      For more information on reporting content to Flickr (and Yahoo) please click on the following link: https://yhoo.it/2BbxaaM

      To directly report intimate content shared without consent to Flickr, you can use this form: http://bit.ly/2AJZH4i

    • Does the offence mean websites have to remove revenge pornography?

      While the offence does not force websites to take action, it does send a clear message outlining that this matieral is illegal, and as a result reputable operators are expected to take reports of intimate content shared without consent very seriously. 

      There are some websites that are made specifically for the distribution of revenge porn. These sites are less compliant with removing content, and may be guilty of assisting and encouraging perpetrators of the offence. Unfortunately, there are many practical difficulties in proscecuting websites that are hosted abroad (which most of them are), and often websites of this nature quickly re-appear even when they are taken down by law enforcement. 

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

      The law around revenge porn relates specifically to a perpetrator who is a resident of the UK. This means that even if the website was hosted overseas, so long as the perpetrator was in the UK, they would have broken UK law. 

      If the perpetrator themselves lived abroad, then they may be breaking laws within their own country of residence. You should contact the police in that country for further assistance.

    • Reputation management

      Some companies claim to clean up your online reputation by requesting removals on your behalf. Most charge large amounts of money and there is no guarantee that the content will be removed, or that it 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 no criminal action has been taken?

      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. Please find below 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

      The Revenge Porn Helpline 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. Please find further information here: http://bit.ly/1C4tRg2.

       

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

      The law against revenge porn would not be committed if a journalist discloses material in the course of, or with a view to, reasonably believing that the publication in question would be in the public interest. For more information, please follow this link: http://bit.ly/2AKr922

      We understand nethertheless, that this could still be incredibly distressing for an individual, and encourage you to reach out for specalist support if needed.

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

      ‘Public interest’ is a term that is used in a variety of legislation in the UK. In this particular case, it relates to a journalist being able to prove that they had reasonable belief that there was a legitimate need for the public to have access to the journalistic material (i.e. the photo or video) that they disclosed. 

    • Why is there a defence relating to material that had previously been disclosed for reward?

      The UK law on revenge porn relates specifically to intimate images and videos shared without consent from a private setting. It would therefore not be an offence for someone to share images that had been previously commercially published, for example in a pornographic magazine. For more information, please follow this link: http://bit.ly/2AKr922

      It may be an offence if the individual had reason to believe that the individual in the image/video did not consent to it being shared when it was published for reward.

      They may however be breaking other legislation if they are sharing the content in a malicious or harassing manner. If you believe this to be the case, you should contact the police on their non-emergency number 101 for further advice. 

    • Sextortion

      Sextortion is a crime that is increasingly reported to the Revenge Porn Helpline.  Also known as ‘webcam blackmail’, the majority of cases involve individuals meeting via social media or on dating websites and forming a relationship through conversation.

      The blackmailer often assumes the identity of an attractive man or woman who, after gaining the victim's trust, will quickly persuade them into 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 an individual or by international & organised criminal gangs.

      It is important that victims do not pay or give the perpetrators anything that is being demanded- often this will not help, and we have witnessed that it can only encourage the perpetrator to increase their demands, or for their threats to become more violent and sustained. 

      We encourage victims to keep all messages as evidence, immediately cease all contact with the perpetrator and report the matter to UK police on their non-emergency number 101. Victims should also report the perpetrators social media profile to the platform that they've been threatened on, as the blackmailing behaviour will most likely be breaking the platforms community standards.

      Victims will often express feeling ‘silly’ or ‘ashamed’. It is important victims know that 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. Victims are not alone, and can move forward from this. 

      Click on the following link to find out more from the National Crime Agency on  sextortion (webcam blackmail), as well as their advice for victims: http://bit.ly/2gunNWk

    • Under 18s

      We are a helpline for over 18s and do not consider minors under the age of 18 to be committing revenge pornography. Whilst UK law states that you have to be 16 to legally have consensual sex- it is illegal to take, distribute, or download explicit content (i.e. images/videos) of people under the age of 18. As a result, it is illegal for websites to host such content and it is important that you report what has happened to the police on their non-emergency number 101 as soon as possible.

      We are also aware that the drivers, motivations and responses to sharing intimate content can be very different with children/young people than they are with adults. 

      If you ever come across indecent content of a person under the age of 18, you should report it straight away to The Internet Watch Foundation (www.iwf.org.uk). 

      You can also contact the Child Exploitation and Online Protection Centre to report online child sexual abuse and grooming. You can report to them confidentially if you are worried about talking to someone directly: http://bit.ly/2huLluG

      If you are under the age of 18, we understand you may not want your parents/carers to know, and may be embarrassed or nervous about their reaction, but telling an adult you can trust is the best action to take. You have been a victim of a serious crime and deserve the right to seek help and move forward. You will also want to consider reporting what has happened to the police, and it is important that an adult supports you through that process.

      Childline and the IWF (Internet Watch Foundation) have formed a partnership to help young people remove explicit images online. If you are 18 or under, you can contact Childline on 0800 1111 for further support. They will request verification of the name and date of birth of the young person whose explicit images have been shared online, all of which will remain confidential. 

      Here you'll find a resource made by SWGfl, a partner in the UK Safer Internet Centre, about what to do if your explicit content is shared online when you are under 18: http://bit.ly/2AcQ1OX.

    • 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.

      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 Relate directly for relationship advice:

      Website: www.relate.org.uk

      Phone: 0300 100 1234 

    • 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. Please remember that what is happening is not your fault, and you are not alone. 

      Being a victim of revenge porn is a traumatic and distressing experience. Having a support network around you can help, such as confiding in a family member or close friend you can trust. You may also find talking to a counsellor or your GP helpful, especially to help with receiving emotional support on a more long-term basis.

      Below you will find some further support networks that may be able to help you emotionally and/or, dependent on your individual circumstances, with the other crimes that have been commited against you. Do not hesitate to get in touch with either us, or them, for help in moving forward from this crime. 

    • 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.

    • Samaritans

      You can contact Samaritans anytime, in your own way and about anything that is worrying you. This includes if you feel tramautised, distressed or suicidal about what has happened. 

      Website: https://www.samaritans.org/

      Phone (24/7): 116 123

    • The Mix

      The Mix is a UK based charity that provides free, confidential support for young people under 25 via online, social and mobile.

      Website: http://www.themix.org.uk/

      Phone: 0808 808 4994

      • Papyrus

        National charity working to prevent young suicide.

        HOPELineUK is run by Papyrus and provides confidential support and advice for young people under the age of 35 who may be having thoughts of suicide, or for anyone concerned a young person may be having thoughts of suicide. 

        Website: https://www.papyrus-uk.org/

        Phone: 0800 068 41 41

      • Victim Support

        Victim Support are an independent charity providing support to all victims of crime. You can talk to them whether or not you reported the crime to the police, and their support is free and confidential.

        Website: https://www.victimsupport.org.uk/

        Phone (24/7): 0808 16 89 111

      • National Domestic Violence Helpline

        The 24-Hour Freephone National Domestic Violence Helpline, run in partnership between Refuge and Women’s Aid, can help if you are experiencing domestic abuse.

        Website: http://www.nationaldomesticviolencehelpline.org.uk/

        phone (24/7): 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)

      • Galop

        Emotional and practical support for LGBT people experiencing domestic abuse.

        Website: http://www.galop.org.uk/domesticabuse/

        Phone: 0800 999 5428

      • The National Stalking Helpline

        The National Stalking Helpline can help if you are worried that you may be being stalked or are being continally harassed (this specifically may be the case if your intimate content is being continually re-circulated or re-posted online). 

        Website: http://www.stalkinghelpline.org/

        Phone: 0808 802 0300

      • The Muslim Women's Network UK

        NWNUK operate a national specialist faith and culturally sensitive helpline that is confidential and non-judgmental. It offers information, support, guidance and referrals for those who are suffering from or at risk of abuse or facing problems on a range of issues. 

        Website: http://www.mwnuk.co.uk/

        Phone: 0800 999 5786

      • Rape Crisis England & Wales

        Rape Crisis England & Wales support victims of rape and sexual assault. They are the umbrella body for the network of independent member Rape Crisis centres, and can help you access support that's right for you.

        Website: http://www.rapecrisis.org.uk/

        Phone: 0808 802 9999

      • ManKind Initiative

        A confidential helpline providing advice and support to all men in the UK experiencing domestic violence and abuse from a partner or ex-partner (including same-sex partners).

        Website: http://www.mankind.org.uk/

        Phone: 01823 334244

      • Relate

        Relate offers counselling, support and information for all relationships and for a wide array of relationship issues. 

        Website: http://www.relate.org.uk/

        Phone: 0300 100 1234

      • Cyber Civil Rights Initiative

        For victims in the US, or those seeking additional information in relation to US legislation, you should contact Cyber Civil Rights Initiative- a US based charity, campaigning for law change and raising awareness for victims of revenge porn. 

        Website: https://www.cybercivilrights.org/

        Phone (24/7): 1-844-878-2274

      • Victims Of Internet Crime

        A website where victims of revenge porn can share their stories, coping experiences and seek support from one another.

        Website: http://voic.org.uk/

         

      • Stop Revenge Porn Scotland

        If you are a victim of revenge porn in Scotland, this is a local campaign that you may find helpful (as well as contacting us for advice and support).

        Website: https://stoprevengepornscotland.wordpress.com/