You can still be intimate with someone while you’re physically distancing – exploring new forms of intimacy online can be a great way to get to know someone better. But consent online is just as important as in real life. Just like with any type of sex in person, engaging in forms of online intimacy is the first step to ensuring you have enthusiastic consent!
For example, you need consent to send sexy texts to someone else, but also consent to share someone else’s images. It is never, under any circumstances, okay to share someone’s nudes without their consent – this is a breach of trust and constitutes image-based abuse.
If you’ve shared an image or video of yourself with someone, and they share it with other people without your consent (whether by forwarding it on, sharing it online or showing it to others), this is not your fault. As with all types of sexual violence, it’s not the fault of the victim/survivor who experiences it: the person who shares the images of you without your consent bears full responsibility for their actions.
Graphic by Alicia Leong and Yannee (Jiawen) Liu, Monash Minds
If you’ve experienced image-based abuse, just remember, you’re not alone. You can:
- reach out to the Safer Community Unit for advice and support
- contact the social media service or website where the image was published to have it removed
- make a report to the eSafety Commissioner or call 1800 RESPECT (737 7328)
- get counselling support at Monash.
This can be a stressful experience, so remember to take care of yourself.