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Protecting Your Digital Wellbeing If You Have Been Affected by Intimate Image Abuse

Protecting Your Digital Wellbeing If You Have Been Affected by Intimate Image Abuse

The impact of having intimate images taken, shared, or threatened to be shared non-consensually is often traumatic and violating for the person affected. On the Revenge Porn Helpline, we’ve found that many individuals being affected by intimate image abuse require signposting to emotional support services due to the strain it can take on their mental health.

While we always recommend reaching out for emotional support, and we will provide you with information about emotional and LGBTQ+ support services when you contact us, we also have several tips on how you can look after your digital wellbeing.

What is digital wellbeing?

Digital wellbeing refers to the impact of personal devices, social media, and apps on individuals' lives. Digital wellbeing can be affected by online behaviour, social interaction and exposure to harmful content. Just like a person's general wellbeing, digital wellbeing can have a big impact on your mental health.

Intimate image abuse, a crime which often happens online and across social media platforms can also have a huge impact on people’s digital wellbeing and consequently their mental health.

6 Tips for protecting your digital wellbeing

Block keywords from appearing in your news feed.

It’s understandable to find certain subjects on social media upsetting, especially if you’re worried about coming across something that may affect your wellbeing further.

On most social media platforms, you can block keywords that may upset or trigger you from appearing in your news feed. This can help prevent you from seeing any hate speech on the platforms you use and reduce the likelihood of you seeing distressing news stories or topics.

You can find guidance for each social media platform below.

Limit users and comments on your posts

On most social media platforms, you can limit and block users to restrict what can be commented on your posts. Limiting comments can help mitigate hate speech, harassment, and trolling on social media platforms. By restricting who can comment and what they can say, you can give yourself further peace of mind.

If you do see something harmful online, our partner service, Report Harmful Content, provides information and advice about reporting harmful content across social media platforms. Find out more here.

Be mindful of what you engage with

It’s important to give yourself time and space when you’ve been affected by intimate image abuse. Sometimes it can be helpful to take a break from social media and digital content and give yourself time to reflect on how certain content makes you feel and whether it is good for your wellbeing.

Giving yourself screen breaks can also limit your exposure to negative or triggering content that may impact your mental wellbeing.              

Give yourself some quiet time

We understand that people witnessing or experiencing harm online can find it hard to turn off; however, taking a much-needed break can be beneficial for your wellbeing. It may help to take control of your device and set up your notification settings to only prioritise important alerts and mute unnecessary ones. You can also give yourself designated times to check messages and emails.

If you’re worried about your intimate images being shared online, remember that the Revenge Porn Helpline is here to support you, and can search and report content so you don’t have to. Our practitioners can also give you frequent updates on your content removal process, allowing you more time to look after yourself.

Check your privacy settings

Raising your privacy settings can help to support your digital wellbeing and give you peace of mind about your personal information. Don’t forget to use strong unique passwords and enable two-factor authentication whenever possible to enhance security.

You can find out more about the different ways to check and update your privacy settings on our website.

Reach out for support

If you find yourself struggling with your wellbeing, it’s always good advice to talk to a loved one or professional about how you’re feeling. Anyone affected by intimate image abuse can reach out to us for support, and we’ll be happy to provide you with advice about the legal and emotional services available to you.

If you’re not ready to speak to us yet, you can also find all the information you need on accessing support on our website.

We understand that LGBTQ+ communities can face significant barriers when accessing support for intimate image abuse, for specific information and advice about the support services available, you can visit our LGBTQ+ Support Page.

LGBTQ+ Support Page

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