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Sexting

Sexting is when someone sends or receives a sexually explicit text, image or video. This includes sending ‘nude pics’, ‘rude pics’ or ‘nude selfies’. Pressuring someone into sending a nude pic can happen in any relationship and to anyone, whatever their age, gender or sexual preference.

It’s easy to think that everybody is sending these nude selfies – they’re not! Putting pressure on someone to send a nude pic, or sharing someone’s picture without their permission, even if it’s a friend and they say it’s just banter is wrong and even illegal.

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 offers some great tips, like giving you killer comebacks using its ZIPIT app when someone is pressuring you for a pic.  You can also contact them 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.

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, (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 and Thinkuknow 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 and CEOP for more advice about sexting and online safety and if you are immediate danger, call 999.

If you’re lesbian, gay, bi-sexual, transgender, questioning or intersex sometimes it might seem easier to meet other LGBTQi  people online. This is especially the case 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 LGBTQi group in your local area where you could meet other young LGBTQi people in confidence, supported by a professional adult. Get advice here.

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 may have pressured others to send them the photos. If your mates are pressuring you to do this, it 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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