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Meeting up with someone you met online

If you’ve been speaking to someone online for a while, you might decide it’s time to meet face to face.

Speak to your parent or carer first before agreeing to meet up with someone so they can help you to do this in a safe way.

Planning to meet up

Here are some things to consider when you’re planning your meet up.

  • Location. It is safer to meet in a public place where there are lots of people around. Think about whether there is phone signal or WiFi at the location.
  • Time. It’s safer to meet during the day and to start your journey home before it gets dark.
  • Journey. Plan your journey to and from the place you’re meeting in advance.
  • Keep in touch. Check in with your parent or carer when you arrive and leave.
  • Bring someone with you. Bringing a friend or adult you trust with you might help you to feel more comfortable.
  • Video chat in advance. Chat on a video call beforehand to check they are the same person that is in their pictures.

If the person you are meeting really cares about you, they won’t mind making plans that help you to feel most comfortable.

What to do if something doesn't feel right

When you meet up with someone in person, you might notice things about them or they might behave in a different way to how they did when you were chatting online.

This might be a warning sign that they have hidden their real intentions.

Examples of warning signs:

  • They don’t look like their photo
  • They say things that make you feel uncomfortable
  • They try to pressure you into doing things you don’t want to do
  • They want to go somewhere ‘more private’

It is a good idea to have a plan for what you might do if you spot one of these warning signs.

Steps you can take if something doesn't feel right:

  1. Trust your instincts. You should never feel guilty for leaving early.
  2. Know what you’re going to say. Think about how you are going to tell the person you’ve met that you’re leaving early. You might be honest, or you might want to make an excuse.
  3. Have a friend or adult you trust on standby. This should be someone you can speak to about what you’re feeling or who can help you plan how to leave safely.

If someone is making you feel uncomfortable or putting you under pressure to have sex, online or in person, report it to CEOP. No matter what has happened, CEOP will be able to help.

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

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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

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Call 0800 1111

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Use their crisis messenger by texting THEMIX to 85258.

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