The number of young Australians who have had intimate photos of themselves shared or broadcast on social media without their consent should ring alarm bells for all parents.

According to the nation’s e-safety sentinel, the Office of the eSafety Commissioner, 1 in 5 Australians aged 16–49 have experienced image-based abuse.

For parents who grew up with Kodak and the anticipation of waiting for one set of 24 photos to be printed, image-based abuse is a new and frightening concept that has the potential to disrupt and devastate young lives.

To help the community understand what image-based abuse is, how to report it and where to get help, the Office of the eSafety Commissioner has launched a new dedicated website on dealing with image-based abuse. According to the office:

“Image-based abuse (IBA) occurs when intimate, nude or sexual images are distributed without the consent of those pictured. This includes real, altered (e.g. Photoshopped) and drawn pictures and videos.”

According to the office, people who have experienced image-based abuse often feel a wide range of emotions, from shame and humiliation, to anxiety anger and helplessness.

The office says family and friends can play a critical role in supporting the health and wellbeing of victims and helping them access the right support.

The Image-based Abuse website provides the latest information on image-based abuse as well as step-by-step advice on how to get intimate images removed from web sites and social media services. It also lists contacts for police, legal, counselling and other services.