Here's what to do if you have been affected by image based sexual abuse 4 days ago

Here's what to do if you have been affected by image based sexual abuse

"Very shortly it will be a criminal offence in Ireland to share intimate images of adults online without consent."

The Rape Crisis Network Ireland has today issued a statement in support of those affected by image based sexual abuse and condemning those involved in its facilitation.

The group provided a list of resources for those who may be affected by such abuse, and information on how best to report suspected cases.

"RCNI would like to send out a message to anyone who believes they may be affected by the non-consensual sharing of private and intimate images that there is support available and that they are not to blame," they said. 

"We would like to condemn in the strongest possible way those who have shared or facilitated or downloaded images of this nature without the consent of the person.

"This is never ok; it is never harmless and very shortly it will be a criminal offence in Ireland to share intimate images of adults online without consent. There is already a range of criminal offences available in relation to intimate images of children being shared online."

If you have been affected by this kind of sexual abuse, help is available. Here's what you can do:

1. Access support services

Rape crisis services and domestic abuse helplines are available across Ireland to help those who are struggling or experiencing trauma.

Trained counsellors and support workers are working round the clock to provide vital supports to victims of abuse, including image based ones.

A list of relevant support services can be found below:

  • Rape Crisis Helpline - 1800 778888
  • Women's Aid/Safe Ireland - 1800 341 900
  • Childline (for under 18s) - 1800 666 666

2. Report an incident anonymously 

Reporting any kinds of abuse can be scary and isolating as, a lot of the time, victims are concerned that their name will be shared online. Similarly, those who come across image based abuse often decide not to report it for fear that they will be seen as a perpetrator.

Hotline.com offers a confidential reporting procedure concerning images of child sexual abuse content online. The service helps remove this kind of content from the internet and protect the child's identity.

Find out more about Hotline's procedure by following the link above.

3. Contact An Garda Síochána 

If you have been directly affected by image based sexual abuse you can report the incident to Gardaí by speaking to your local Garda Victims Service Office.

Similarly, if you have become aware of any images that you think have been shared without consent, it is important to report these images to the Gardaí are refrain from sharing them further.