Send me a pic?
Sharing photos and videos online can be a great way to express yourself. Lots of people like to share selfies with friends - to show them what they’re up to, express how they feel, or just to have a laugh.
Some young people post naked or semi-naked (nude) images of themselves too. This might be because:
- They want to send one to a boyfriend/girlfriend
- They feel like they should send one to a boyfriend/girlfriend
- They want to flirt with someone they like
- They want to make their friends laugh
- They are being pressured to send one by someone else
Whatever the reason, there are always risks involved in sharing naked pictures, particularly if someone isn’t sending it because they want to. Once an image has been shared, there’s a chance that it could be shared with more people.
If you have already shared something you’re worried about, it’s never too late to get help. Check out our advice on 'What if I've already sent a nude image?' below.
3 ways to say 'no'
No one has the right to pressure someone else into sharing a nude image.
Everyone has the right to say ‘no’ if someone asks them to do something they’re not comfortable with.
Someone who respects and cares about you should never pressure you to do something you don’t want to do, or make you feel bad for saying no.
There are a few different ways that you can say ‘no’ - choose whichever way you’re most comfortable with. Here are some suggestions for what you could say in different situations:
- Someone you're in a relationship with: Let them know you’re not comfortable. If they respect and care about you, they should understand.
- Someone you know and like, but are not in a relationship with: You may feel more comfortable say no in a funny way, Zipit app has helped lots of young people to respond to nude image requests.
- Someone you don’t know: Ignore, block and report, so they can’t continue to contact you.
Has someone asked you to send them a pic?
Things to consider:
You don’t have to
No one should ever make you feel that you owe them a nude picture. Even if you’re comfortable with sexual chat, or you’ve posed in flirty pictures, it doesn’t mean that you have to get naked, or that you’ve ‘led someone on’. Never do anything that you’re uncomfortable with.
There are other ways to show that you are
You do not need to send someone a pic to ‘prove’ you like someone. There are other ways of showing your boyfriend or girlfriend that you care. If someone says you need to do it to prove your commitment, they’re wrong. Ask – am I doing this for me, or for them? It’s always abusive for someone to put you under pressure to send a nude image.
It could be shared with people who you wouldn't want to see it
When images are stored on devices there's a chance that other people could end up seeing the images unintentionally.
If someone is making you feel uncomfortable, you don't have to go through it alone
Speaking to a person you trust may help you to feel better about what’s happened. Talk to someone you trust like a parent, carer, teacher, or someone who works at Childline. Their support may give you the confidence to say no to sending pics you don’t want to.
What if I've already sent a nude image?
Here are some steps you can take to help the situation:
Ask the person to delete it
In most cases, the person you sent the image to won’t want to share it any further. If you have shared something but now the thought of someone else having it makes you feel uncomfortable, have an honest conversation with them and ask them to delete it.
Speak to a trusted adult
If you feel worried about a picture you’ve sent, talk to someone about what’s happened. We know this can feel embarrassing, but an adult will be able to help. If you feel as though there isn’t anyone you can tell, you could speak to a counsellor at Childline confidentially by calling 0800 1111, or call The Mix helpline on 0808 808 4994.
Get help to take it down
If the picture has been posted online, and whoever posted it won’t delete it, the social networking site should take it down straight away. Social networks don’t allow naked images of those under 18. Read about how to report to social networking sites here.
If you are under 18 and worried a sexual image or video of you may have been shared online, you can also use Childline and IWF’s Report Remove tool. This helps children and young people to report an image or video shared online, to see if it is possible to get it removed. Once the report has been made, you will be kept informed at each stage and provided support and feedback where necessary.
Get help from CEOP
If someone pressured you to send a picture, or is now threatening you, it is never too late to get help. You can report this type of crime directly to CEOP using an online form. Do not feel embarrassed, CEOP deal with lots of cases like this every day and they will know how to help you. They will not judge you or blame you in any way.
Remember - the law is there to protect young people
Naked images of under 18s are illegal, but you will not be in trouble with the police if someone has made you share an image of yourself. The law was created to protect young people, not get them into trouble.
Organisations who can help
If you don't want to talk to someone you know you can call Childline, the free helpline for young people. You can contact Childline about anything. No problem is too big or too small. Whatever your worry, it's better out than in.
Childline is a private and confidential service. Confidential means not telling anyone else what you’ve said. This means that whatever you say stays between you and Childline.
They would only need to tell someone else if:
- You ask them to
- They believe your life or someone else's life is in immediate danger
- You are being hurt by someone in a position of trust who has access to other children like a teacher or police officer
- You tell them that you are seriously harming another young person
Call them on 0800 1111. The number won’t appear on your phone bill. You can also visit www.childline.org.uk to speak to a counsellor online.
Internet Watch Foundation & Childline - Report Remove
If you are under 18 and worried a sexual image or video of you may have been shared online, you can use Childline and IWF’s Report Remove tool. This helps children and young people to report an image or video shared online, to see if it is possible to get it removed. Once the report has been made, you will be kept informed at each stage and provided support and feedback where necessary.
If you shared a naked pic or video and someone is threatening you or you shared it because someone pressured or forced you, it is never too late to get help. Don't give in to threats or send any more pictures. Walk away and tell an adult you trust or report to CEOP. If you think you are in immediate danger call 999.
CEOP helps young people who are being sexually abused or are worried that someone they’ve met is trying to abuse them.
If you’ve met someone online, or face to face, and they are putting you under pressure to have sex or making you feel uncomfortable you should report to CEOP.
This might be someone:
- Making you have sex when you don't want to
- Chatting about sex online
- Asking you to meet up face to face if you've only met them online
- Asking you to do sexual things on camera
- Asking for nude pictures of you
- Making you feel worried, anxious or unsafe
If this is happening to you, or you’re worried that it might be, report to CEOP.