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Someone is threatening to share my intimate image(s)

Last updated: 11 July 2021

This guide covers situations where someone is threatening to share your intimate images and videos, but has not already done so.

If this is not your situation, these guides might be more useful

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

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 this is not your fault and you have not done anything wrong. Your friends might not know much more than you about what to do. A trustworthy adult may be in a better position to help you decide your next steps.

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

Collect as much evidence as you can (e.g. take photos, screenshots, recordings) and start keeping notes of what happened. Do this before you do anything else. This is important because you will be asked for evidence when you report to platforms, the police, or courts.

Email these notes and the evidence to yourself or someone you trust. This will add a timestamp, which can help you to keep track of what happened and make this record more useful to the police or courts.

Remember to also keep yourself safe. Please do not put yourself in danger for the sake of collecting more evidence. Your safety is your number one priority.

Reach out to people you trust if you need help and support.

Guide to Preserving evidence

Block and report

If you feel safe, block and report the person who is threatening you. This limits their ability to pressure you, harass you, and access additional information about you. Do this only after you have collected evidence of their threats.

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 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.

Seek support

Please let people you trust know what happened. Ask them to support you and help with any actions you decide to take.

You can also reach out to the following services for support:

  • All genders & ages – call 1800-777-0000 for the National Anti-Violence Helpline – dedicated 24-hour helpline for reporting violence and abuse
  • Those 16 and older – call AWARE’s Sexual Assault Care Centre Helpline (6779-0282, Mon - Fri, 10am - 6pm). The case managers at SACC have experience helping clients respond to such situations.

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.

Identify information

Identify what information people can find out about you based on what you’ve shared online, especially if you are worried that malicious people would try to contact you.

We have a guide to help you with this. It walks you through the steps of figuring out what information people can already find about you online, 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 is accessible online, you may want to remove any info you no longer want to share. 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 minimising the risk of unwanted contact and harassment.

Guide to Limiting unwanted contact

Make a police report

You can consider making a police report. In Singapore, it is a crime for someone to threaten to distribute an intimate image or recording without your consent.

Guide to Making a police report

What counts as an 'intimate image' under the law?

The law defines an intimate image or recording as:

  • Pictures or videos of your genital/anal regions, whether bare or covered by underwear
  • Pictures or videos of your breasts, if you are female, whether bare or covered by underwear
  • Pictures or videos of you performing a ‘private act’ that you would not expect to be recorded, such as bathing, using the toilet, or performing a sexual act
  • Pictures or videos that have been altered to show you doing any of the above (e.g. someone photoshopped your face onto the body of a person doing a sexual act)

You can read the law here

Apply for a remedy under POHA

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

Under POHA, you can apply for civil remedies relating to harassment (e.g. protection order, expedited protection order) or remedies relating to false statement of facts (e.g. stop publication order, correction order). If your claim is successful, the court may be able to order the other person to stop their behaviour and delete the posts or images.

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

Guide to Applying for a remedy under POHA

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.

Other questions

What if I initially took this image myself?

It is still wrong for people to share your intimate images, and the law criminalises the threats to share these images without your consent.

Does this only happen to women?

No. Men, women, and non-binary individuals experience this in Singapore. This kind of coercion is wrong regardless of your gender.

What if the person who is threatening me is my partner or someone I’m dating?

It is wrong for anyone to threaten you in this manner, regardless of your relationship with them.

It might feel especially upsetting to be receiving such threats from a romantic or dating partner. Please know that you have not done anything wrong and you are not to blame for this. Consenting to one thing, e.g. having sex or taking intimate images, does not mean you consent to anything else, e.g. having those images being shared or sharing more images.

Please keep records of these threats. Know that under the law, there are greater penalties for offences against victims in an intimate partner relationship (whether dating or married).