Sexting (sending a sexual message, photo or video) to can be risky. Find out how to cope when it goes wrong…
If you’ve sent a nude, a sexually-posed photo or a message discussing sexual behaviour and something has gone wrong, there are ways to fix it. Whether you’ve sent it to a partner, friend or a stranger, there are different paths you can take, depending on the situation.
Sexting And The Law
First things first, let’s look at the law around sharing sexual images. If you are under 18, it is illegal for anyone to share sexualised images of you. It is also illegal for someone to send sexualised images to you. If you are over 18, it is against the law for someone to share pictures of you without your consent. There are laws and support in place to help you.
It’s never OK for someone to pressure you into sending sexual images of yourself. They might try to convince you that everyone else does it or try to offer you some kind of prize in return for a photo. If you ever find yourself in this situation, stop responding to the person, tell an adult and block and report.
What To Do If You’ve Sent Something And Regret It:
- You can ask the recipient to delete the images or videos you’ve sent, explaining that you don’t feel comfortable with them having those images in their possession. Sadly, you can’t guarantee that they will do it, but there are strict laws around what they can and can’t do with your image.
- Talk to someone. Tell an adult you trust about what has happened. You might feel embarrassed or ashamed, but you’ll better having someone on your side to help you deal with it.
Threats And Revenge Porn
It is against the law to even threaten to share someone’s nudes. If you are under 18 and someone is threatening to share images of you, you must tell an adult straight away. If you are over 18 and someone has posted an image or video of you without your permission, you can get help from the Revenge Porn Helpline: https://revengepornhelpline.org.uk/
Blocking & Reporting
Most social media platforms have a tool to report and block a person. You can find a handy guide on how to block people here: childline.org.uk/info-advice/bullying-abuse-safety/types-bullying/bullying-social-media/#Blockingandreporting
If someone has posted an image of you without your permission, you can report the image and ask the social media platform to remove it.
Receiving Unwanted Nudes
If you’ve been sent a nude image or something that makes you feel uncomfortable, end the conversation and tell an adult you trust. It can be shocking and upsetting to open a message to find a sexually explicit image that you did not want to see. You need the support and help of a parent or adult to help you deal with it.
It’s important to think twice about sending any kind of image or video. Once you’ve hit send, it can be almost impossible to get your images back. If you do find your images have made their way onto a public forum or have been shared, try to stay calm and act quickly to have them removed. Tell an adult you trust immediately and don’t let the worry about getting into trouble stop you from speaking out – your safety will be the main focus of the situation.
For more help:
[link to How Can I Stay Safe Online?]
(FOR PARENTS) Reporting child exploitation: https://www.ceop.police.uk/safety-centre/