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Someone is pressuring me to take or share intimate images of myself

Last updated: 11 July 2021

This guide is for situations where someone is pressuring you to take and/or share intimate images of yourself with them.

What is an intimate image?

We use ‘intimate image’ to refer to any image or video that shows:

  • Nudity or someone’s genitals
  • Someone in just their underwear
  • Someone in a sexual situation or performing a sexual act
  • Someone doing a private act like bathing or using the toilet
  • Voyeuristic ‘upskirt’ content
  • Or an image or video edited to show any of the above (e.g. adding your face to a nude photo)
If you are below 16 years old

Let a trusted adult know what is going on.

If you feel that something is not right or are starting to feel uncomfortable or unsafe, trust your feelings.

What you are experiencing could be a crime. Speak to a trusted adult or support professional about these pressures that you are facing as they are in a better position to help.

Remember that you have not done something wrong and this is not your fault, even if it feels embarrassing.

Have you also been experiencing these red flags?

  • Have they been very friendly, given you many compliments, or offered to buy you things? People who want to hurt you may make nice promises, offer to buy you things, or give you compliments about being mature, smart or attractive – all to gain your trust. They may also ask you questions about your life to assess how vulnerable you are. To be fair, people who genuinely want to be friends with you may do all these as well. But if this is happening with the other points in this list, then this is a red flag.
  • Have they asked you to keep your relationship with them a secret? This is a pretty big red flag. It is likely that they want you to keep your relationship with them a secret because they are doing something that can harm you and they don’t want to be caught.
  • Have they made many comments about your body or appearance? Trustworthy older teenagers and adults know that it is not appropriate to keep commenting on the body or appearance of someone younger than them. If the person you’re talking to has started doing this, they could be trying to gain your trust and test your boundaries. After a while, these comments might become increasingly explicit and sexual.
  • Have they asked you questions that feel wrong or uncomfortable? Such questions can be “have you kissed someone” or “do you want to know how [something] feels like”. They might also say that they can teach you something that will make you feel good. These are wrong. They are red flags! A trustworthy older teenager or adult would know that they should never be asking a young person about these things.
  • Have they been asking to meet up? If the other person has been asking to meet up with you, inform an adult immediately. Do not meet up with them. It is not safe. The other person may take the opportunity to harm you physically if you meet up with them.

If the red flags above resemble your conversation with the other person, you might be in danger. Speaking to an adult, like a teacher, parent, or family friend, will help keep you safe.

The above material was adapted with permission from the Australian Government eSafety Commissioner. Permission to adapt content does not constitute endorsement of material by the eSafety Commissioner.

Most of this guide is still applicable for you, but don’t deal with this alone. Please find someone to support you.

What to do now?

Do not share intimate images if you are not comfortable

You don’t have to share intimate images or videos of yourself if you don’t want to! Even if you feel like this is expected of you or you want to please the other person, simply feeling like you don’t want to is enough.

You can say things like “I’m not comfortable with this” or “I don’t want to.” You don’t need to feel bad for saying any of these – a respectful partner would immediately stop asking you once you said no.

Remember that consent is an enthusiastic, freely-given “yes,” not being “talked into” doing something.

Record what happened

If need be, start collecting as much evidence as you can (e.g. take photos, screenshots, recordings) and keeping notes of what happened, while keeping yourself safe. Do this before you do anything else. Reach out to people you trust if you need help and support.

Email these notes and the evidence to yourself or someone you trust. This will add a timestamp. If the person contacting you tries to gaslight you, it will be useful to have your own records to look at. If the situation escalates further, the timestamp will also make the record more useful to the police or courts.

Guide to Preserving evidence

Block and report

Block the person who is pressuring you – if it is safe to do so and only after you have collected evidence of them pressuring you.

If they are trying to pressure you into sending images, it’s likely they will continue to do so, hoping that eventually you will give in. Blocking them will keep you from having to say “no” over and over again.

If you are worried that this person will create new accounts to continue contacting you or find you on different platforms, you may want to change your privacy settings or contact details. See our guides below to Identifying what information about you exists online and Limiting unwanted contact

What to do next?

These situations can be stressful. Below, we’ve listed further actions you can take. These are all optional – it is up to you to decide what you would like to do.

Identify information

Identify what information people can find out about you based on what you’ve shared online.

We have a guide to help you with this. It walks you through the steps of figuring out what information the other person may already know about you, and what else they can learn about you from this (e.g. if they know your full name, they are likely to be able to find your Facebook).

Guide to Identifying information

Limit unwanted contact

Once you have identified what information about you can be found online, you may want to remove any info you no longer want to share. You may also want to secure your accounts and adjust your privacy settings to minimise unwanted contact.

Our guide to limiting unwanted contact includes specific instructions for adjusting your online privacy settings, securing your online accounts, and other measures for reducing the risk of online or in-person contact. These will be useful if you think that this person would try to find other ways to contact you after you’ve blocked them.

Guide to Limiting unwanted contact

If you think that this person would try to hack your accounts, go directly to our guide to Securing online accounts

Apply for a Protection Order

You may wish to consider applying for a Protection Order under the Protection from Harassment Act (POHA)

Harassment and unlawful stalking are offences under POHA, and a Protection Order would require the perpetrator to stop their behaviour. If you choose to apply for a Protection Order, you will need to provide evidence to demonstrate that the perpetrator’s behaviours constitute harassment or unlawful stalking.

What counts as harassment?

The conduct have to be continued over an extended period and/or be repeated, and be likely to cause you harassment, alarm, or distress.

You can read the law here

What counts as 'unlawful stalking'?

The behaviours have to be continued over an extended period and/or repeated, and be likely to cause you harassment, alarm, or distress.

POHA lists these examples of stalking behaviours, but you don’t have to fit these exactly:

  • Following you or a related person
  • Communicating or trying to communicate with you or a related person by any means
  • Making any communication (or trying to) about you or a related person; or purporting to be from you or a related person
  • Entering or loitering in any place outside or near your or a related person’s home, workplace, or anyplace you frequent
  • Interfering with your or a related person’s property
  • Giving or sending material to you or a related person, or leaving it where you or a related person will find it
  • Keeping you or a related person under surveillance
  • Illustrative examples from POHA:
    • Your workplace superior repeatedly emailing you with suggestive comments about your body
    • Someone sending you flowers daily even though you’ve told them to stop
    • Your classmate repeatedly circulating revealing photos of you to other classmates

You can read the law here

Our guide to applying for a remedy under POHA provides further information on POHA and the application process.

Guide to Applying for a Protection Order

If you are unsure of your legal rights, you may wish to seek legal advice: Find legal support

If you want to report someone to the police so that the police may conduct investigations, you may wish to make a police report instead.

Make a police report

You can consider making a police report.

There are different ways in which this could be an offense under the law. It is an offense to ask minors (people below 16) for intimate images; and an offense to ask 16/17 year olds for intimate images within an exploitative relationship. It is also an offense for someone to make threatening, abusive, or insulting communication that would likely cause another person harassment, alarm or distress (no matter your age). Under certain circumstances, such conduct can also be considered unlawful stalking.

Guide to Making a police report

What counts as 'unlawful stalking'?

The behaviours have to be continued over an extended period and/or be repeated, and be likely to cause you harassment, alarm, or distress.

POHA lists these examples of stalking behaviours:

  • Following you or a related person
  • Communicating or trying to communicate with you or a related person by any means
  • Making any communication (or trying to) about you or a related person; or purporting to be from you or a related person
  • Entering or loitering in any place outside or near your or a related person’s home, workplace, or anyplace you frequent
  • Interfering with your or a related person’s property
  • Giving or sending material to you or a related person, or leaving it where you or a related person will find it
  • Keeping you or a related person under surveillance
  • Illustrative examples from POHA:
    • Your workplace superior repeatedly emailing you with suggestive comments about your body
    • Someone sending you flowers daily even though you’ve told them to stop
    • Your classmate repeatedly circulating revealing photos of you to other classmates

You can read the law here

Take care of yourself

Please reach out to a close friend or anyone you trust to let them know that you are facing these pressures. Ask them to support you emotionally and help you with any tangible actions you decide to take.

AWARE’s Sexual Assault Care Centre offers support for those 16 and above who experienced sexual harassment. If you need help, or feel unsure about a sexual encounter and just want to talk, please contact the SACC Helpline at 6779-0282 (Mon - Fri, 10am - 6pm).

Are you in primary school? If so, you can talk to Tinkle Friend :)

If you are in primary school (7 to 12 years old), you can contact Tinkle Friend to talk to a warm and friendly adult about the issue that is troubling you. These adults are working at one of the Singapore Children’s Society offices and they are there to listen and support you.

When you contact Tinkle Friend, they will ask you for your age, gender, and name. But you can decide how much you want to share with Tinkle Friend. You can also give a fake name if you are not comfortable sharing your real name with Tinkle Friend.

In secondary school? Read this!

Please tell a trusted adult about what happened. This can be your parent, teacher or school counsellor. It might be scary to tell an adult about this, but the adult may be able to support you and keep you safe from further harm.

If you don’t feel like you have an adult who you can talk to, you can also consider contacting the National Anti-Violence Helpline at 1800-777-0000 (24/7, open to all genders and ages)

If you still feel unsure, AWARE’s SACC has information about child sexual abuse and underage sex that you might find useful.

Supporting someone below 16?

If you suspect that a minor is in need of support, you can contact the National Anti-Violence Helpline at 1800-777-0000 (24/7, open to all genders and ages).

You can also contact any of the following Child Protection Services who offer specialised support services for children:

AWARE’s SACC has advice for responding to cases of child sexual abuse :

  • “A supportive, non-judgmental first response is pivotal in cases of child sexual abuse. If a child speaks up, listen and believe them. If you notice behavioural changes or sexualised behaviour in a child, gently investigate instead of shutting the child down. Though first instincts might be to scold, there are better ways to listen, show empathy, and seek help together with the survivor—e.g. by allowing the child to finish speaking, and assuring them that they are listened to, not judged or blamed.”

For more information, please refer to the following:

You can also refer to our directory Finding Support in Singapore to find a hotline, legal clinic, mental healthcare provider, or other social service that best fits your needs. In the directory, there are also resources that can help you make sense of the emotions you may be feeling in that directory.

Go to Find support

Other questions

Does this only happen to women?

No. Men, women, and non-binary individuals experience this in Singapore. This kind of pressure to do something you don’t want to do is wrong, regardless of your gender.

What if the person who is asking me for these images is my partner or someone I am dating?

You are still entitled to your boundaries in a romantic relationship. You can negotiate these boundaries with your partner, but the choice to say ‘yes’ or ‘no’ is ultimately yours. In a healthy relationship, both partners respect each others’ boundaries.

If you are looking to make a police report or apply for civil remedies, you may wish to note that under the law, there are greater penalties for offences against victims in an intimate partner relationship (whether dating or married).