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Help and Advice 

If you don't feel ready to contact us directly, you'll find some help and advice here to get you started. If this doesn't answer your questions you can get in touch and we'll do our best to guide you.

    • What would typically be considered revenge porn?

      To fall within the offence, an image or video would have to be intimate, sexual and private 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 apply only to content posted on the internet?

      No. The offence applies equally onlineand 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.

    • Would everyone who shared the 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 out an intimate image and then shows it to others?

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

    • Would an image of someone 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 and private in nature (not something that would be ordiniarly seen in public). 

      We completely empathise that an image of this nature can cause an individual significant distress even if, for some reason, it does not fall within the guidelines of the law. We can therefore 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 photoshopped 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, would not be commiting this specific offence.

    • Would the offence cover content that's completely computer generated?

      UK law on revenge porn does not currently include content that's entirely computer generated, although we completely empathise 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 the non-emergency number 101 or a solicitor for further advice.

    • Does the offence apply to material which isn't 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 the non-emergency number 101.

    • What is '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 a stereotypically 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. 

    • What happens when someone is victim to sextortion and how do they get help?

      If you are the victim of online blackmail, we encourage you to follow these steps:

      1.  Tell someone you trust
      You have done nothing wrong. Talking to someone you trust can help you deal with this. 

      2.  Do not give them any time or money and do not negotiate.
      They want to engage with you so they can threaten you and exert pressure. Take screenshots as evidence. Block and do not respond to them. The amount they ask for is designed to be just enough to encourage you to pay. It will not be enough and they will come back and demand more money.

      3.  Collect evidence and stop all contact.
      We encourage victims to keep all messages as evidence. Victims should also report and block 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.

      4.    Tell the police.
      This type of crime is increasing. That is why the UK National Crime Agency wants you to report it.  They need to build intelligence about this type of crime. While demands are for relatively small amounts (£200 - £1600 band) the scale and frequency of offending is likely to make this a multi-million dollar global industry. NCA investigations reveal victimisation across the world. To find out more from the National Crime Agency regarding sextortion (webcam blackmail) and what to do if you're a victim, click here.

      5.  Do not let any feelings of shame prevent you from getting help.
      With five cases of online blackmail linked by UK police forces to suicide it is important to reach out for help. You have not done anything wrong. You are not alone in experiencing this. The NCA report that they have had over 1500 cases reported and victims’ occupations include Police Officers; Firemen; Military (Officers  & NCOs); Heads of Local Authorities; Sports Personalities; Teachers; Youth Coaches; Celebrities.

    • - Stay calm & 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 the 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 immediate risk of physical danger, contact the police immediately on 999. 

    • - Report and request removal of content -

      Most social media sites do not allow nudity and many UK adult sites only allow content uploaded with consent, and so on these sites you should be able to request to have the content removed. Make sure you have taken screenshots of where the content is before you request removals for the purposes of police evidence.

      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 websites 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 and contact us for further support- 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.

    • - Remove 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.'-

      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:

      If content has been removed from a website, but the links and/or thumbnails associated with it are still appearing on search engines, you will need to report it as outdated content or wait for the search engines to update its results. More information about this can be found here:

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

    • It's against the law.

      The Sentencing Council included the ‘threat to disclose intimate material or sexually explicit images’, within its guideline for offences under the Communications Act 2003. 

      Report to the police. We would encourage you to report this to the police by calling the police non-emergency number 101, you will need to give the call handler brief details and an appropriate officer should return your call. 

      Collect any evidence you can. This caninclude screenshots of messages where they are threatening you, screenshots of the profile they are using, usernames and times and dates of when the messages are sent. 

    • Report, block and stop communication.

      Once you have collected evidence, report and block the user on the platform they are threatening you on. See the section below on how to report to social media, if the platform isn't on the list, there should be a report tool or advice via the platform. 

      Stop communication. They want to engage with you so they can threaten you and exert pressure. Block and do not respond to them. Do not negotiate. The amount they ask for is designed to be just enough to encourage you to pay. It will not be enough and they will come back and demand more money.

    • - 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:

      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:

      You can also find advice on heightening your Facebook security in this guide:

    • - 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:

      You can report directly from a tweet when reporting intimate content shared without consent, or through the following form:

      This link also provides further information about how to report this type of violation on Twitter:

    • - 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: 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:

    • - 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:

      When reporting this violation, you should report directly within the app, or via the following form:

    • - 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 via the following form:

      You can also read more about Tumblr's Community Guidelines by clicking on the following link:

    • - 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+ you should report content using the 'in-product user flags'. Under videos there is an icon with three dots, onced pressed, click on the report option. You can find more information about this here: 



      Google also 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.'- thisrequest 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:

      To directly report intimate content shared without consent to Flickr, you can use this form:

    • Can Facebook stop my images being shared?

      Yes. We are partnering with Facebook on a new pilot project where people can securely submit intimate images which they fear will be shared without their consent in order to block them from being uploaded to Facebook, Instagram or Messenger. This is Facebook's statement in full:

      People shouldn’t be able to share intimate images to hurt others, by Antigone Davis, Global Head of Safety

      It’s demeaning and devastating when someone’s intimate images are shared without their permission, and we want to do everything we can to help victims of this abuse. We’re now partnering with safety organizations on a way for people to securely submit photos they fear will be shared without their consent, so we can block them from being uploaded to Facebook, Instagram and Messenger. This pilot program, starting in Australia, Canada, the UK and US, expands on existing tools for people to report this content to us if it’s already been shared.

      My team and I have traveled to nine countries across four continents, listening to stories about the abuse and cruelty that women face online. From Kenya to Sweden, women shared their painful, eye-opening experiences about having their most intimate moments shared without permission. From anxiety and depression to the loss of a personal relationship or a job, this violation of privacy can be devastating. And while these images, also referred to as “revenge porn” or “non-consensual pornography,” harm people of all genders, ages and sexual-orientations, women are nearly twice as likely as men to be targeted.

      Today, people can already report if their intimate images have been shared without their consent, and we will remove each image and create a unique fingerprint known as a hash to prevent further sharing. But we can do more to help people in crisis prevent images from being shared on our services in the first place. This week, Facebook is testing a proactive reporting tool in partnership with an international working group of safety organizations, survivors, and victim advocates, including the Australian Office of the eSafety Commissioner, the Cyber Civil Rights Initiative and The National Network to End Domestic Violence in the US, the UK Revenge Porn Helpline, and YWCA Canada.

      People who worry that someone might want to harm them by sharing an intimate image can proactively upload it so we can block anyone else from sharing it on Facebook, Instagram, or Messenger:
      - Anyone who fears an intimate image of them may be publicly can contact one of our partners to submit a form
      - After submitting the form, the victim receives an email containing a secure, one-time upload link
      - The victim can use the link to upload images they fear will be shared
      - One of a handful of specifically trained members of our Community Operations Safety Team will review the report and create a unique fingerprint, or hash, that allows us to identify future uploads of the images without keeping copies of them on our servers
      - Once we create these hashes, we notify the victim via email and delete the images from our servers – no later than seven days
      - We store the hashes so any time someone tries to upload an image with the same fingerprint, we can block it from appearing on Facebook, Instagram or Messenger
      This is one step to help people who fear an intimate image will be shared without their consent. We look forward to learning from this pilot and further improving our tools for people in devastating situations like these.

      If you feel this project could help you, contact us on or 0345 6000 459.

    • If someone is under 18 and their intimate images were shared without their consent, can you help them?

      Our helpline is for over 18s only

      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 of individuals under the age of 18. As a result, it is illegal for websites to host any such content, with or without consent. It is not within our specalist remit to search or remove this kind of illegal content and it is important that you report what has happened to the police on the non-emergency number 101 as soon as possible. It is also important that you do not look for or share the content any further.

      you should report content found online straight away to The Internet Watch Foundation ( for review. 

      You can also contact the Child Exploitation and Online Protection Centre if you suspect online child sexual abuse and/or grooming has taken place. You can report to them confidentially if you are worried about talking to someone directly, please follow this link for further advice:

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

      Childline and the IWF (Internet Watch Foundation) have formed a partnership to help support individuals under 18 with removing intimate content online. 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. Please call Childline on 0800 1111 for further support with this.

      Here you'll find a resource made by SWGfL, a partner in the UK Safer Internet Centre, about what to do if an under 18's explicit content is shared online:

    • What can I do about how I am feeling?

      You have made a positive step in re-taking control and proactively seeking support- acknowledging and addressing your feelings is really important. You may be feeling anxiety, anger, guilt, shame or self-blame, feelings of depression and betrayal, but please remember that what is happening is not your fault, and you are not alone. 

      Being a victim of revenge porn can be a distressing and even tramautic experience. Having a support network around you can help, such as a family member or close friend that you can trust and confide in. You may also find talking to a counsellor or your GP helpful, especially when looking to receive long-term emotional support.

      Here's some further support networks that may be able to help you emotionally and/or, dependent on your individual circumstances, with other crimes that have been committed against you.

      Do not hesitate to get in touch with either us, or them, for help in moving forward from what has happened to you. 

    • Advice from Relate, the relationship people.

      '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:


      Phone: 0300 100 1234 

    • Does the offence mean websites have to remove content identified as revenge porn?

      While the offence does not directly 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. 

      If you need support regarding removing content online, please do contact us for further advice.

    • 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.

    • Can't I just pay for a company to remove all the content?

      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 a revenge porn website. Everything they can do, 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 content online.

    • What else can I do if no criminal action has been taken?

      Unfortunately, there are times when a victim cannot continue with seeking justice through the criminal route and their case is closed by the police (e.g. because of a lack of evidence).

      We have partnered with Queen Mary University of London who assist victims of revenge porn by providing free & specalist legal advice via their SPITE (Sharing and Publishing Images to Embarrass) project, and who may be able to help you further with accessing jusitce through the civil route. SPITE is a free & specalist legal advice service avaliable to any resident of England & Wales who has been the victim of revenge porn. You can find further information about this service here:

      If you know the person responsible (e.g. they are an ex-partner and are threatening to share your content), you could apply to a local court for an injunction to prevent them posting it anywhere online or to order them to delete the content.

      Please find below some guidance on this 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

    • 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

      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.

    • I did some professional webcam work and it’s been shared on a website that I didn’t consent to. Can you help me get it removed?

      If intimate images or videos are in any way related to professional work, it would not fall under revenge porn legislation but may fall under different legislation, such as DMCA (Digital Millennium Copyright Act). Our helpline is here specifically to support victims who have had private (non-professional) sexual content shared without their consent. Any disputes regarding who owns the copyright to professional content, or what an employment contract says about where content can be shared, is not something that we can assist with because it does not fall under the remit of revenge porn. We completely empathise however that this could be a distressing situation to go through, and we would recommend you contact a solicitor for further support and advice.

    • I regret doing professional webcam/pornographic work and I want it taken down from the website, can you help?

      Professional webcam/pornographic work disputes do not fall under the remit of what support we can offer and we are unable to request removal for any content of this kind. Typically, when professional webcam/pornographic work is undertaken individuals agree to the terms and conditions of the website or are asked to read and sign an employment contract. In these agreements, companies typically outline that once you’ve done the work, it is theirs to share and use in whatever way benefits them most. There may be times when disputes in this area fall under DMCA (Digital Millennium Copyright Act), for example if you claim you didn’t sign a contract or the contract states the work is yours. In such circumstances, you should contact a solicitor for further advice and support.

    • I am a professional webcam worker and my ex-partner is sharing intimate images that we took together in private. Are they still breaking the law even though other explicit content is available of me online?

      If the images your ex-partner is sharing are private (non-professional), intimate and being shared without your consent to cause you distress or embarassment, then yes they are breaking the law, regardless of what you do for a living. 

    • I am a sex worker and I was filmed without my consent by a paying customer and it is now been used to blackmail me. Is there anything I can do?

      It is against the law for someone to film you sexually without your consent, regardless of how it was obtained. It is also against the law for someone to try and blackmail you in this way. We completely understand that it can be really difficult to do, but we would advise that you contact the police on the non-emergency number 101 to talk through with them what has happened. You can also contact us and we can help you to access additional support, free legal advice and also talk you through what we can do if the film is shared publicly. 

    • Someone has set up a profile on an escort site pretending to be me, there are no intimate images but they are using images taken from my Facebook. What can I do?

      Whilst we completely understand how distressing and upsetting this can be, the legislation around revenge porn relates specifically to private intimate content being shared without consent. Someone pretending to be you in this way is not revenge porn but rather impersonation. You should report the profile to the website for removal to begin with, but if the behaviour is continuous and malicious, report it to the police on the non-emergency number 101. It may be that the behaviour falls under different legislation such as malicious communications or possibly even harassment.

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

      The law regarding revenge porn would not be broken if a journalist disclosed 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:

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

    • What does ‘public interest’ mean in relation 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 in the law relating to material that has been previously disclosed commercially?

      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 content that had been previously commercially published, for example on a porn website. For more information, please follow this link:

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

      Individiuals may be breaking other legislation if they are sharing commercial 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. 

    • I am a professional and someone has approached me to say they are the victim of revenge porn. What do I do?

      Always be supportive towards someone who has told you this has happened to them and avoid victim-blaming, particularly with phrases such as “you shouldn’t have taken an image in the first place”, “you should have picked a better partner” or “well, what did you expect?” This individual has been the victim of a crime, for which the effects are often incredibly distressing and even traumatic. Make sure you are supporting the individual, listen to them when they talk through what has happened and make sure they know they are not alone and there is support available to help them move on from this.

      It’s important to remember that incidents are often far more complex than they may first appear, and on a regular basis we see the sharing of intimate content as just one incident that is part of a much wider and more complex situation. This might include issues around domestic abuse/coercive control, sexual assault, honour-based violence, harassment, stalking and voyeurism. Be vigilant and willing to open up a conversation about other issues if it’s appropriate.

      You should encourage the victim to follow our advice about retaining evidence and support them to contact the police on the non-emergency number 101 (see FAQ: My private & intimate content is online. What do I do?) If you or the victim would like further advice, you can contact us and we will do what we can to support you further.