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Sexual messages

Hey Sam,

I'm 15 and my friend is 19. I've knew him for about a year. He has helped me with lots of things like my depression and I'm better now because of him but he recently has been saying sexual things. He would never force me  to do anything but he does ask me if I woud like to do things with him. He only does this when texting, never in person. I usually turn it into a joke by replying with 'haha' or something. I don't know what to do about it. Is what he doing illegal or something? How do I make him stop?

Ask Sam

Sam

Hi,

Things can get really awkward when someone starts being sexual over texts or chat. Knowing how to handle situations like that can make you safer online. Nobody should be sending you sexual messages you don’t want to see, especially if they’re an adult and you’re not.

Sexting is when someone sends sexual messages or pictures online or on a mobile phone. Some people do it for fun, but it can have real consequences and could even get someone into trouble. Nobody ever has the right to send you sexual messages or photos when you don’t want them to. And in fact, this can be a form of sexual abuse.

What your friend is doing isn’t okay and if you want him to stop, it’s okay to tell him how it is. It takes a bit of courage, but if you’re able to tell him how uncomfortable it makes you feel then it could be a way of getting him to stop. You may even want to remind him that as you're under 16, it would be illegal for him to have sex with you.

If you don’t feel confident in telling someone to stop sexting you, then you might find ChildLine’s Zipit app useful. The app gives you some great comebacks for when someone starts getting sexual when you don’t want them to.

I hope this helps – remember it’s always okay to tell someone about this if you need help. You can tell an adult you trust or talk to ChildLine first to chat about what you think is going to be the best thing to do.

Thanks for the letter, take care.
Sam

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