Someone is sharing my images in a sexualised way
Last updated: 11 July 2021
This guide covers situations where images are being shared online in a lewd or sexualised way BUT the person in these images are not naked, in their underwear, or performing a private or sexual act.
If this is not your situation, these guides might be more useful:
- If the images being shared show you naked, in your underwear, or performing a private or sexual act, see our guide Someone is sharing my intimate images
- If your images are being shared along with information that identifies you, see our guide Someone has shared my personal information online
If you are below 16 years old
Please reach out to a trusted adult now.
This can be your parents, your legal guardian, a school teacher, or a school counsellor. Let them know that this has happened to you. We know it is scary, but you may be in danger.
Remember that you did not do anything wrong and this is not your fault. Your friends might not know much more than you about this – a trustworthy adult can help you decide what to do.
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?
Record what happened
Start collecting evidence (e.g. take photos, screenshots, recordings) and keeping notes of what happened, while keeping yourself safe. Do this before you do anything else.
Email these notes and the evidence to yourself or someone you trust. This will add a timestamp. If the situation escalates further, the timestamp will also make the record more useful to the police or courts.
Block and report
If someone has been sharing images of you on a trustworthy platform like Facebook or Instagram, you can report them as harassment, especially if these images are being shared with lewd comments. After reporting and taking screenshots, block the user to limit their ability to contact or get more information about you.
If your images are being shared on a site with little content moderation or is explicitly dedicated to non-consensual content, you should not engage with this site at all. Doing so would only give this site more information about you and could expose you to further abuse, extortion, and public harassment.
Even if the site appears trustworthy enough, you should still take a few safety measures in contacting them:
- Use a private browsing mode like incognito mode and use a non-personally-identifiable email address (i.e. one that does not have your name in it).
- Be clear and concise in your message. Say that you do not consent to your photos being used in this way and would like them to be promptly removed, but do not provide any additional details about yourself.
- Provide URLs for each page/image you are reporting. You can right-click on your image and choose ‘copy image address’ to avoid any confusion.
If you are worried that this person will create new accounts to evade your blocking 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?
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.
You may want to figure out whether the other person has shared your personal information with these images. You may also want to figure out what other information about you that people can find based on these. For example, if the images shared were your profile photos, this might help someone find your social media accounts.
Our guide to identifying what information about you exists online shows you how to take stock of the information that’s available about you online, including how to set up a Google Alert for your name or social media handles.
Limit unwanted contact
Once you have identified what information about you is accessible online, remove any info that you no longer want to share. Also secure your accounts and adjust your privacy settings to minimise the risk of unwanted contact.
Our guide to limiting unwanted contact can help you with this.
Seek legal advice
Under certain conditions, your situation may be considered a crime and you may be able to make a police report; or you apply for a protection order or other civil remedies under the Protection from Harassment Act (POHA)
What counts as harassment?
Under the Protection from Harassment Act (POHA), harassment is conduct that causes someone to feel threatened, alarmed or distressed.
We are not able to advise you on this. If you are thinking of pursuing these actions, you may wish to seek legal advice.
For general information on POHA, the civil remedies available under POHA, and the process of applying for a remedy, read our guide to Applying for a remedy under POHA
Take care of yourself
Whatever happened was not your fault. Please reach out to a close friend or anyone you trust to let them know what you are going through. 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.
- Call 1800-2744-788 (Mon to Fri, 2:30 to 5pm)
- Chat online at www.tinklefriend.sg (Mon to Thurs, 2:30 to 7pm; Fri: 2:30 to 5pm)
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:
- Big Love Child Protection Specialist Centre
- HEART@Fei Yue Child Protection Specialist Centre
- PAVE Integrated Services for Individual and Family Protection Specialist Centre
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.
Does this only happen to women?
No. Men, women, and non-binary individuals experience this in Singapore. This kind of violation of your right to have control over how your images are shared is wrong, regardless of your gender.