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Sophie Mortimer, Helpline Manager, Discusses Intimate Image Abuse on BBC Crimewatch

Sophie Mortimer, Helpline Manager, Discusses Intimate Image Abuse on BBC Crimewatch

Last week, Sophie Mortimer, our Helpline Manager, appeared on BBC Crimewatch to share information about intimate image abuse. During her interview, Sophie discusses the current intimate image abuse laws, the rise in cases the Helpline has seen, and the invaluable support our Helpline can provide to people affected by intimate image abuse. She also explored tools such as which can support on a global scale.

If you want to find out more, you can the latest Crimewatch episode, which looks at the investigation around a high-profile case of intimate image abuse. Watch Sophie’s interview on BBC iPlayer here, or continue reading for more information.

The Law

Live from the studio, Sophie explained the laws regarding intimate image abuse and the technicalities behind getting a successful conviction. Intimate image abuse laws have been in place since 2015, with the Criminal Justice and Courts Act making it:

"An offence for a person to disclose a private sexual photograph or film if the disclosure is made without the consent of an individual who appears in the photograph or film, and with the intention of causing that individual distress."

However, with the announcement of the Online Safety Bill passing, laws regarding intimate image abuse will be amended to remove the requirement for prosecutors to prove that perpetrators intended to cause distress when sharing intimate images without consent. To find out more about current intimate image abuse laws in the UK, you can visit our advice page.

Rising Concerns

Since launching in 2015, the Helpline has provided an essential outlet for adults affected by intimate image abuse, supporting over 12,000 cases, and removing over 300,000 pieces of intimate content. However, as Sophie emphasises, the Helpline is seeing more and more cases, with August 2023 being the Helpline’s busiest ever month.

Contacting the Helpline

With a 90% successful takedown rate, our Helpline is able to support anyone who wants to find out about the removal of intimate content that has been shared online. As Sophie emphasises, ‘there is an idea that once something is online it’s there forever, and that’s not entirely true, there’s a lot that can be done and a lot of cooperation from the tech industry.’

As highlighted through the interview, advanced technology, such as, can be used to create digital hashes of their intimate content that can prevent them from being shared across participating platforms such as Facebook, Reddit, TikTok and more. Visit for more information.

Please don’t panic, you’re not alone, there is help available, and please remember that this is not your fault, that the fault entirely lies with the person who has done this betrayal.

Any adult affected by intimate image abuse in the UK can contact the Helpline for support and advice. Open Monday to Friday 10am-4pm, you can call 0345 6000 459 or email

For more information about intimate image abuse, or to get in touch with us anonymously, visit our website

Watch the BBC Crimewatch Interview

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