What to do if you are being sexually shamed online.
Taking sexy pictures and video of yourself seems harmless. But you need to be careful because something you think is harmless, like sending a sexy video or picture of yourself dressed in only your underwear to bae, can end up on Facebook, Twitter and WhatsApp.
People laugh at you, make fun of your body and call you nasty names. You feel guilty and ashamed, and start believing that it was your fault. However, it’s never your fault if someone puts your sexy pictures and video on social media without your permission. If you are under the age of 18 - whether you agree to it or not - posting or sharing sexual pictures featuring a minor is against the law.
When people post, share or use sexual pictures or videos of someone who is underage it’s called child pornography. This includes pictures or videos of you undressed, having sex or describing you in a sexual manner.
If this happens to you, the first thing you should do is to tell an adult you trust. The people sharing or posting the material are breaking the law and so you can go to a police station to open a case, if you feel comfortable to do so. The police should investigate such a case and if the offenders are charged and found guilty, they can go to jail.
Remember you are not alone. Reach out to a trusted adult if you need someone to talk to. It could be that you are being pressured into sending an inappropriate photo or maybe you’re being bullied into doing something that doesn’t make you feel comfortable. Don’t keep it to yourself.
You can also speak to a Lifeline counsellor to help you deal with feelings like anger and shame, should something be making you feel bad or sad. Counselling is available 24/7 at their toll-free line, 0861 322 322.