Someone posts a photo of you without your consent.
You and your friend are hanging out one afternoon and your friend accidentally takes a photo of you making a funny face.
You had a lot of fun laughing about it, but later your friend posted the photo on Instagram without asking you.
Did they have your consent?
Remember that if the person did not ask you first, they did not have your consent.
… ‘’Well, she didn’t say not to’’.
… Actually getting consent means asking for permission beforehand – and making sure the person says YES to it and really, truly agrees.
How would this situation make you feel? Would you feel that your rights were respected? That you were safe, strong and free?
Remembering your rights, and deciding whether you are being respected can be a great way of figuring things out when you are not sure about how you feel or what you should do.
Some people use it like radar or a tracking device to understand if an assault has taken place. It can even be used to figure out you are just uncomfortable with something. It’s a great roadmap!
If you feel as though your rights have been taken away by someone on purpose, to hurt you, then an assault has taken place.
What you can do
Let's think about what different things you could do where you get to protect your rights and still don’t take away the other person’s.
Your Options /
A Letting it go
Maybe this was just a one-time thing, and even accidental and you think it won’t happen again.
You could ignore it, if you decide it’s not worth it. It’s not unusual to decide that.
Having a conflict or getting into a fight with people is hard for most of us.
It might work. And it might not. Good chance it won’t!
But sometimes, not saying something and deciding to ignore it sends a message to the other person that it didn’t actually bother you, which makes them feel OK to keep doing it.
And then you might be stuck with the same situation again and again and again…
Also, it means sitting on your feelings, and that usually doesn’t work. They can just grow and grow and things feel even worse. Plus you might spend a lot of time worrying about it happening again.
A question you can ask yourself here is, am I protecting my rights? Do I feel safe, strong and free ignoring it?
Only you can know that!
And listen, maybe you want to put it aside for now – think about it, talk to someone – reacting right away isn’t always the best thing either!
Taking time to figure out a plan and get support means a better chance of keeping your rights and everyone else’s too.
B Reporting the post
Reporting it might work, too.
You could also...
Press the report button on Instagram, (This can also be done on Twitter, Facebook or any other app you might be using)
Un-tag yourself from the photo
If you’re feeling angry, what are some ways you could let off some steam?
C Being aggressive and getting revenge
Naturally, most of us think about getting mad and especially about getting revenge.
It would feel so great in the moment, just seeing them get hurt too. They will know just what it feels like!
You can let off some steam, deal with your feelings, make sure the other person suffers too. This can be really tempting.
Problem is, that we’d be doing the same thing to them that they did to us. We’d be taking their rights away.
At COPA, we think we can deal with these situations better if we figure out a way that doesn’t use aggression.
First, because the satisfaction of thinking about or acting on that anger might feel great at first, but those feelings don’t usually last very long.
Second, because it can start a nasty cycle of revenge and make the problem even bigger than it was.
Yeah, it just doesn’t work.
It would be great to figure out another way.
Maybe start by dealing with the feelings you’re having.
You could also get a little calmer (just because when you’re calmer you can actually think better)...
Breathe! And try to take deep breaths, in and out, and for a few minutes
Drink a glass of water (slowly!)
Punch a pillow (go for it!)
Go for a walk or a run or some other exercise you like
Talk to someone you can trust to figure out what to do next. (Take a screenshot if the person isn’t around.)
Thinking about a friend or an adult you trust is a really good idea. Keeping it stuck inside you can make it harder and it’s lonely.
D Send a private message to your friend
What kind of message could you send to your friend?
If you’re having trouble figuring out what to say here are some ideas:
(insert name of the person here).
(describe situation here), it made me feel (describe how you felt here).
I wanted to let you know that this was not OK with me.
If you could please
(you could ask the person to remove the photo or fix the thing that upset you here), I would really appreciate that.
Next time, please ask me first. It’s good to have people’s permission first.
E Talking to someone you trust
For sure, our first idea is to keep it a secret for as long as possible.
Maybe you feel too ashamed, think it’s your fault somehow. (It’s NOT!)
Talking to someone you trust is usually a big help, though.
Otherwise your thoughts and feelings can just cycle around and around in your head and then you can’t really think straight. And you might feel more alone and worried.
It might be hard to figure out who to talk to. Should you turn to a friend, classmate, teacher, family member…
At COPA, we start by thinking about it with these questions:
Who are friends or family your age that you could trust?
Who are some adults at home or in your family circle that you trust?
Who are some adults at school that you trust?
Who are some adults outside of school and home that you might trust?
Who do you feel safe, strong and free with?
Scenario - Someone You Don’t Know Threatens you Online.