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Frequently Asked Questions about sexting

I’ve been asked to send a nude pic – what should I do? 

It can be really stressful when you don’t want to send a nude pic but you don’t want to be bullied for not sending one either. It’s important to know that lots of people have been in this situation before and help and support is available.  Childline (link opens in a new tab) offers some great tips, like giving you killer comebacks using its ZIPIT app (link opens in a new tab) when someone is pressuring you for a pic.  You can also contact them here (link opens in a new tab) to get support from an expert.

What can I do if someone is threatening to share photos of me? 

If someone is threatening to send your nude picture to others then they are committing a serious crime and the best thing to do is get help here.

Don’t give in to threats. Walk away and tell an adult you trust. If you think you are in immediate danger call 999. If your pictures are being used against you then you can report it to CEOP here (link opens in a new tab), (Child Exploitation and Online Protection Centre) they help young people who are being targeted online or suffering sexual abuse.

What can I do if someone shares a pic I sent them?

It can be upsetting to find out someone has done this but there are things you can do. Tell someone you trust as soon as possible, such as a parent, guardian or teacher so they can take action and try to stop the image being shared further. It may be embarrassing but remember you are not the first person this has happened to and your school will have ways of dealing with this. Childline (link opens in a new tab) and Thinkuknow (link opens in a new tab) offer lots of practical advice and support, such as how to request for images to be removed from some sites.

Should you send pictures to someone you’ve only met online?

Remember that people you are in contact with online may not be who they say they are or even be the same age as you. If someone you’ve met online is putting pressure on you to send sexual images of yourself or do sexual things on webcam, you can report it to CEOP who can help stop this. Visit Childline (link opens in a new tab) and CEOP (link opens in a new tab) for more advice about sexting and online safety and if you are immediate danger, call 999.

If you’re lesbian, gay, bisexual or transgender sometimes it might seem easier to meet other LGB&T  people online, especially if you’re not out, and it can be hard when other people you know are starting relationships but you haven’t. But sending nude pics to somebody you don’t know can be dangerous. There might be an LGB&T group in your local area where you could meet other young LGB&T  people in confidence, supported by a professional adult. Get advice here (link opens in a new tab).

What should you do if you’re worried about a friend?

If your friend is worried about sexting and saying things to you like ‘I didn’t really want to send it but…’. They might need help.

Talk to them and let them know where they can get help.

Is it OK to ask someone for a nude pic if you’re going out with them? 

If somebody doesn’t want to send a nude pic, it’s really important that you accept that and don’t try to change their mind. Pressuring somebody into sending a nude pic is wrong and there can be serious consequences.

And don’t forget that if someone is under 18 it’s illegal for them to send pics of themselves and for you to possess them.

My mates keep pressuring me to get a nude pic of someone but I don’t want to, what can I do?

It’s wrong to pressure anyone to do something they don’t want to do. Some people see having nude pics on their phone as a status symbol, but they have may have pressured others to send them the photos. If your mates are pressuring you to do this is wrong and it is abusive behaviour. Also, if someone is under 18 it’s illegal for them to send nude or sexually explicit pics of themselves and for you to possess or share them.

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