Online abuse can happen on social media, games, applications (apps) or any other online or electronic platform.
Online abuse may be through:
- texts and online messages
- and emails.
Report online abuse with eSafety
Australia has strong laws to prevent and deal with harm caused by serious online abuse and illegal and restricted online content.
eSafety regulate online safety in Australia.
How eSafety can help
eSafety can help to get harmful online content removed.
To have harmful online content removed, it must meet some legal thresholds for investigation.
Even if eSafety cannot get the content removed, they will:
- check you are safe
- give you support and information to help you protect yourself.
What eSafety can investigate
The following types of online content can be investigated by eSafety.
Cyberbullying is serious, harmful online communication to or about a child or young person under 18.
Cyberbullying may include:
- being mean online
- sending hurtful messages
- sharing embarrassing photos, and
- creating fake accounts.
Adult cyber abuse
Adult cyber abuse is serious, harmful online communication to or about a person who is 18 or older.
This content is threatening, harassing or offensive and intended to cause serious harm.
Adult cyber abuse may include:
- being cyber stalked
- being threatened online
- being doxed. A person or organisation who is doxed has their private or personal information shared publicly.
Image-based abuse involves sharing or threatening to share intimate images or videos of a person without their consent.
This is sometimes called ‘revenge porn’ or sexual extortion.
Illegal or restricted content
Illegal or restricted content shows or encourages:
- the sexual abuse or exploitation of children
- terrorist acts
- other types of violent crimes, or
- extreme violence.
How to report online abuse
There are steps you can take to make a report, depending on if you are experiencing cyber bullying or online abuse, or seeing illegal or restricted content.
Reporting cyber bullying and adult cyber abuse
If you are experiencing cyber bullying or adult cyber abuse:
- report the bullying or abuse to the website, social media platform or online service first
- if they don’t remove the content within 48 hours, .
Image-based abuse or illegal and restricted content
Learn more on the eSafety website
- find out more about what eSafety can investigate
- learn how to make a report, and
- learn how to collect evidence.
Reviewed 02 August 2023