Ask Sam letter


To Sam


A few weeks ago a boy asked me to send him a picture of me in my underwear. I sent him one, and asked if he deleted it. He said yes, he even swore he deleted them. Then a few days ago he showed his friends the pictures. It got around the school and everyone is calling me names for it. 'Slag', it has really upsetted me and he still has the pictures. He won't delete them because he still wants them. He won't talk to me about it and I really don't want to tell teachers, or parents. I attempted suicide over it because life was getting worse. I just need to tell someone. Can you help?
Ask Sam



I’m really glad you have been in touch to talk about what has happened to you.  It’s clear it has really upset and affected you, so much so that you tried to kill yourself over it.  It’s really good you are trying to seek support about this because it’s a serious issue, and one that many young people contact us about at ChildLine.

What you have described is something called ‘sexting. This is when people exchange texts, emails or messages through social media (like Facebook), including images or pictures, that have a sexual type content.  Even if this is sent to a person who is usually trustworthy, once a picture or message has been sent, only the person who it has been sent to has the control over who is able to see it and it could end up in the hands of lots of different people. 

What you have described is serious because anyone who has a sexualised image of someone under the age of 18 in the UK is breaking the law, and they could be charged with possession of an indecent image of a minor.  That means that if you are under 18, the person who has the picture of you is breaking a very serious law and they could get into trouble for this if it is reported.

It is important to say though, that if a young person sends pictures of themselves believing that these were only for their boyfriend or partner to look at is also the victim in this and it would be highly unlikely that they would get into trouble themselves.

You mentioned that you don’t want to tell your parents or your teachers about it.  It’s understandable you may be scared or worried about what they might say, but it’s important that something is done to ensure the picture is destroyed and not shared any further.  Talking to a trusted adult who can do something about it is one option.  You would also have every right to contact the police and report what is going on, and they will treat it seriously. 

Have a look at the Think U Know website where you can find out more about sexting and how to keep safe.

It’s important you are able to talk about how you feel and what is going on for you, and the team of counsellors at ChildLine is there to listen and support you if you’d like to talk about it.  You can call for free on 0800 1111, send a private email, or have a live 1-2-1 chat. 

Take care,


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