Q & A

  • I opened an email which had some pretty nasty pics in it – the person who sent it is now telling me what I did was illegal and that I’m going to get arrested if I don’t do as they tell me. What do I do?

    They are trying to blackmail you and use you, so you should ignore the threats. The truth is you won’t get into trouble with the police for reporting this, but the person doing it will be in lots of trouble for trying to blackmail you.

    Try and save any information about the person contacting you and then make a report to CEOP. Talk to a trusted adult about this and ask them to help you make the report.

  • I sent a naked picture of myself to someone I met online and they said they’d send it to all my friends if I don’t send them more. What can I do?

    Firstly, do not send any more pictures. Unfortunately sending more pictures is not going to make them leave you alone. If they are threatening you, or trying to bully you into sending pictures then they are committing a serious crime and the best thing to do is get help. Learn more about it here.

    - If they are making you feel guilty so you don’t do anything about it – remember, they will be the ones that get in trouble over this, not you.

    - If you can, save the conversations you’ve had with them and take notes of any personal details that could help identify them e.g. online names etc.

    - Talk to a trusted adult, and get them to help you make a report to CEOP

    - If you would rather talk to someone in confidence about what you’re going through then you can contact ChildLine on 0800 1111 or report direct to CEOP

  • What is grooming?

    Some adults want to have sex with children and young people. ‘Grooming’ is the way in which they try to build a relationship with a young person to get them to think that it’s ok to have sex with them. Grooming is also how they make young people feel like the abuse is their fault. It is never their fault.

    Grooming happens in different ways – for example, they might get a young person to think that they are their boyfriend or girlfriend, or they might threaten them and try to force them to have sex with them. It can be hard to spot grooming, particularly online, but you can find out some of the signs here. Remember, you should never feel under pressure to have sex and it is against the law for an adult to have a sexual relationship with a young person.

  • I’ve met someone online, we get on really well and it feels like they really understand me. We talk for hours every night and we share everything with each other. They’ve now suggested we meet up. What should I do?

    Just remember that people can easily lie about who they are online. Some people may try to build relationships online with the intention of taking advantage of someone in real-life.

    If anything happens that makes you feel nervous or you get a funny feeling about something, trust your instincts - they’re probably correct. Tell a trusted adult, call 999 or report to CEOP if you’re worried about something that’s happened.

    It’s always risky to meet up with someone you’ve met online so if you do decide to meet them follow these common sense rules:

    - Always meet and stay in a busy public place.

    - Do take a trusted, responsible adult with you, not a friend. If the person you’re meeting with isn’t being honest taking a friend will put you both at risk.

    - Make sure a friend or family member knows who you are meeting, where you are going and when you’ll be back.

    - Don’t accept a lift from the person you’re meeting.

    - Stay sober.

    - Take your mobile phone, keep it switched on and topped up with credit.

    - Your personal belongings can be stolen, don’t leave them unattended.

    If you're worried about your safety or think you are in danger you should call 999.

  • I’ve shown my friends a naked pic of my boyfriend. Was it illegal for me to do that?

    It’s against the law to have naked pictures or videos of someone under 18, that includes taking the photo, sending it on, or keeping any naked images you’ve been sent.

    The law is like this to protect young people from adults who sexually abuse them and take photos or videos of the abuse. But even if it’s a picture which your boyfriend or girlfriend has taken, it is against the law, and you definitely shouldn’t share naked or indecent pictures of anyone without their consent.

    Although you probably wouldn’t get in trouble with the police, you could cause your boyfriend or girlfriend serious distress and get yourself in serious trouble at school. Remember, if you threaten or pressure anyone to share naked pictures with you then you could get in trouble with the police.

    You should delete any pictures you have on your mobile or computer and ask anyone you’ve shared these pictures with to do the same.

    Find out more about the risks of sharing naked images and how to stay safe here.