Intimate image abuse
The Harassment, Harmful Communications and Related Offences Act 2020 came into force in February 2021. The Act provisions for two new offences dealing with the non-consensual distribution of intimate images, also commonly referred to as 'intimate image abuse' (IIA).
The Act, defines an 'intimate image' in relation to a person, as any visual representation, made by any means including any photographic, film, video or digital representation:
- of what is, or purports to be the person's genitals, buttocks or anal region and, in the case of a female, her breasts,
- of the underwear covering the person's genitals, buttocks or anal region and, in the case of a female, her breasts,
- in which the person is nude, or
- in which the person is engaged in sexual activity.
Examples of intimate image or video shared without consent include:
- A person, for example, an ex-partner shares an intimate image of you on social media without your consent;
- A person digitally alters (Photoshops) an image of you with an explicit image and shares it without your consent;
- A person posting your intimate image on an adult 'porn' website without your consent.
If you have experienced intimate image abuse, the most important things to remember are that it is not your fault and you are not alone.
Hotline.ie can help. If an intimate image or video of you has been shared without your consent, we can help with reporting and removing the content online and, in some cases, liaising with An Garda Síochána, should you wish for it to be investigated by Gardaí.
If you report an intimate image or video shared without your consent Hotline.ie may:
- Approach the online service provider on your behalf and request the removal of the intimate image or video shared without your consent. Whilst we cannot guarantee removal of all images, we have exceptional partnerships with online service providers, and we will use all reasonable efforts to help you.
- Help you find relevant resources.
- Provide you with advice on how to gather the information about the image or video.
- In some cases, help you make a formal complaint against the person responsible by liaising with An Garda Síochána on your behalf.
What Hotline.ie can't help with:
- This Hotline.ie service is available to victims of non-consensual sharing of intimate images who reside in the Republic of Ireland. If you live outside Ireland, please visit our international resources page to find out where you may be able to get support depending on where you live.
- Hotline.ie is unable to provide counselling or specialist emotional support. If you are a victim of intimate image abuse please find here a list of services in Ireland offering counselling or specialist emotional support that may be able to help.
- Hotline.ie is unable to provide legal advice, here's a list of services in Ireland which offer specialist support to victims.
- Hotline.ie cannot undertake criminal investigations.
For any urgent situation where you suspect a person may be in immediate danger please always report it directly to An Garda Síochána, either at your local Garda station or by using the free Garda Confidential Line 1800 666 111.
For further information please read our IIA Frequently Asked Questions.
Click here to make an IIA report to Hotline.ie.