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Sending nudes

Young people may send naked or semi naked images or videos (nudes) of themselves for a variety of reasons.

This includes:

  • Flirting with someone they are interested in
  • Having fun with friends
  • For sexual enjoyment and intimacy as part of a relationship
  • To get positive comments from others because they have low body confidence
  • Being pressured from a friend or a partner

Being pressured to send a nude is never okay. Everyone has the right to say ‘no’ if someone asks them to them to do something they’re not comfortable with.

If you’ve shared a picture of yourself (with the consent of the person you sent it to), you are never to blame for anything that happens after this.

If you are worried about a nude you’ve already sent, there are steps you can take to help the situation.

Has someone asked you to send a nude?

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 photos, it doesn’t mean you have to send a naked picture, or you’ve ‘led someone on’ if you don’t send one. You don’t have to do anything you’re uncomfortable with. There are ways to say no.

  • There are other ways to show that you care 

You don’t  have to send someone a nude to ‘prove’ you like someone. If someone says you need to do it to prove your commitment, they’re wrong. Ask yourself – am I doing this for me, or for them? It’s a form of  abuse 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, like a phone, there's a chance other people could end up seeing the images unintentionally or they could be kept for longer than you intended.

Ways to say no

Someone who respects and cares about you should never make you feel bad for saying no. 

There are a few different ways 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. It might feel easier to say no in a funny way, like sending a GIF or meme. 
  • Someone you don’t know. Ignore, block and report them, so they can’t continue to contact you.

What if I've already sent a nude?

  1. 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 having it makes you feel uncomfortable, have an honest conversation with them and ask them to delete it.
  2. 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 can speak to a counsellor at Childline confidentially by calling 0800 1111.
  3. Get help to take it down. If the picture has been posted online, and whoever posted it won’t delete it, report it and the social networking site should take it down. Social networks don’t allow naked images of people under 18. If you are under 18 and worried a sexual image or video of you may have been shared online, you can also use the Report Remove tool. This helps young people to report an image or video that has been shared online and see if it is possible to get it removed. Young people are kept informed at every stage of the process.
  4. 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. This is a crime and you can report it 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.
  5. 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.
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Report it

If you are under 18, report online sexual abuse to one of our Child Protection Advisors at the CEOP Safety Centre.

Report now

If you're over 18, call 101 to speak to your local police. 

In an emergency

If you're ever in immediate harm or danger: 

  • Call the police on 999 straight away
  • Tell an adult you trust who will be able to support you through a difficult time

Talk to someone

Childline logo

Free, confidential support online and over the phone for young people under 19.

Call 0800 1111

The Mix logo

The Mix is a charity that provides free information and support for under 25s.

Use their crisis messenger by texting THEMIX to 85258.

See all help

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