Helping a friend and getting support

You can help create a respectful community online by being an active bystander – this means stepping up and intervening when you see abuse online. Just remember the three D’s:

  • Direct: If you feel comfortable doing so, you can address the comment or behaviour by speaking to the person directly either online or offline.
  • Delegate: Sometimes it’s best to delegate to the appropriate service, person or authority. Depending on the situation, you can report the abuse on the platform you’re using, or contact the Safer Community Unit, security, or the police.
  • Distract: You can create a distraction to direct the attention somewhere else. For example, if you notice someone targeting another person in a chat, you can try to change the topic, or send a meme or GIF to show your disapproval.

Graphic by Eric Wang, Monash Minds

If someone you know tells you that they have experienced sexual violence, you can support them by listening to them without judgement, showing them that you believe their story and validating their feelings. You can also let them know that they can reach out for support (for example, by contacting the Safer Community Unit or booking a counselling appointment).

If you’ve shared an image or video of yourself with someone else, and they have shared it (or threatened to share it) with other people without your consent, this is image-based abuse. If you’ve experienced this, it’s important to remember that it’s not your fault and you’re not alone.

Support services

There are a range of support services that can help:

  • Safer Community Unit
    Get support and advice on reporting options.
  • Counselling
    Access Counselling Help Online, or book a telehealth (video or phone) consultation with one of our counsellors.
  • Social media platform safety centres
    Report the abuse to the safety service on the social media platform you’re using. Just make sure you collect evidence of the abuse first (for example, by taking a screenshot). Depending on the platform, you can usually block or mute the person involved in the abuse so they can’t contact you.
  • eSafety Commissioner
    Make a report of image-based abuse. The eSafety Commissioner can help you remove intimate images and videos that have been shared without your consent and provide access to counselling and support.