Hindustan Times

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Sending intimate pictures used to be such a taboo thing to do—no one talked about it but everyone did it. Then people started realising sexting was a given, which led to more and more intimate pictures being sent, which led to women getting their pictures leaked on the internet. Kanika Khosla, psychologist, says, ” It is quite common to send nudes and seductive pictures to one’s romantic interest out of fear of being dumped, fear of hurting the loved one, fear of being bullied & being called a sissy or simply, as we now know it, FOMO (Fear of missing out).”

But, it’s not okay for someone to share (or threaten to share) your intimate pictures without your permission. If they do, they’ve seriously broken your trust. This might leave you feeling scared, unsafe and worried about what will happen next. But the good news is there is a legal implication to this. Anirudh Tanwar, Advocate, says, “There is no doubt that leaking nudes or blackmailing a girl on the pretext of leaking her intimate pictures attracts penal consequences under the Indian Penal Code and the IT Act.”

He further stresses that a victim need not worry at all. He adds, “A victim can file a suit for damages. However, what constitutes nudes or a hot picture is yet to be decided by the courts, nevertheless, defaming or threatening a girl on the basis of  a normal looking picture may also attract such penal provisions. Also, it’s important to know your legal rights. Legal literacy is important for everyone.”

Having your nudes leaked is a really stressful and upsetting experience, so it’s important  that you look after yourself. Pulkit Sharma, relationship an expert says, “People feel as if their life is ruined. But remember, social media has a short memory. Don’t carry the notion that you are exposed. Also, remember you shared it in confidence so don’t blame yourself.”