How do I stop my boyfriend sharing photos of me naked?
When I was with my boyfriend, he kept on at me until I sent him some photos of me naked. Now we've broken up and he's sending them to everyone at school. I'm so humiliated. And now they're on the internet too. How can I get him to take them down? It's ruining my life.
What your boyfriend did to you was a breach of trust, and you’re understandably hurt and humiliated by his actions. What he did is also against the law, and you can use this to make sure he is forced to stop sharing photos of you.
Sharing sexual images without consent is known as revenge porn, which is a crime in the UK. If you ever find yourself in this position, know that it’s not your fault. The person or people sharing the images is committing a criminal offence. The serious punishments for distributing revenge porn mean that they will suffer the consequences of their actions. You can find out more about revenge porn laws in the UK here,
We’ve spoken to two experts about what you need to do next.
Sharing naked images without consent is illegal
Sharing naked images of your boyfriend, girlfriend or partner without their consent is illegal. Let’s just make that very clear.
Jennifer Perry, CEO of the Digital Trust, says: “If you were under the age of 18 when your boyfriend got the naked photos, then in the eyes of the law, he has distributed images of child sexual abuse. We recommend you send a letter to his parents. Tell them that if the images are not deleted, you will report your ex-boyfriend to the police for possession and distribution of illegal images of child sexual abuse. You should also request a list of students that he sent it to, and send them a letter as well.
Report the image or video immediately to the website in question, and untag yourself in any photos so they’re not connected to you. Also make a report to the Internet Watch Foundation here, and tell the website that you’re doing this. They’re breaking the law by hosting these photos, so you can threaten them with legal action too.”
Never agree to something you’re not comfortable with
You should never feel pressure to do anything sexually that you’re not comfortable with. If a partner is harassing you into something and making you feel guilty, that’s abuse, and you don’t have to stand for it. As difficult as it is, try to take a stand for yourself and reach out to people who can help. We have more information on help and support if this is going on in your relationship here. You can also learn more about consent here.
You’re not alone
Psychotherapist, Dr Aaron Balick, wants you to know that it’s important you don’t go through this alone. He says: “It’s super painful but it’s best to get them to stop sharing photos now rather than pretend it’s not happening. Make sure you tell somebody so you can get help shutting it down and holding the person/people responsible accountable.
Regaining some control will help, but so will talking about your feelings with a person you trust. Having to deal with the reality that people have now seen ‘naked me’ is extremely tough but please know that however awful it feels, that feeling is temporary. Life does go on.”
- The Revenge Porn Helpline can help you stop the reach of explicit photos. If you are over 18, ring them confidentially on 0345 6000 459
- BullyingUK offers advice and support to victims of bullying. Call on 0808 800 2222.
- Chat about this subject on our Discussion Boards.
- Need help but confused where to go locally? Download our StepFinder iPhone app to find local support services quickly.
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