Ask Sam letter

Asker

To Sam

Social Network Problem.

Hey Sam,

There's been a problem where a guy has asked me to send a picture of my breast and vagina but I only sent him a picture of my breast. I am only 12 and I was pressured into this by the guy. I don't know him at all and I don't know what he may be doing with that photo.

Did I make the right decision to email ChildLine about this?

Thanks

~A* x

Ask Sam

Sam

Hi there,

Thank you for your letter and well done for writing in to get some support.

It sounds like you felt under a lot of pressure to send this picture to the guy when you didn’t want to, that must have been very frightening and left you feeling unsure about what to do.

No one should be asking you to do that sort of thing and because you are under 18 they are breaking the law.

I can also hear that you’re feeling worried about what he might now be doing with this picture. There are several different options as to what you can do next if you’re feeling like you want to do something about what’s happened.

Firstly, I’m not sure on which social network this happened, but a lot of social networks have options where you can report it. So you could let them know about the messages that were sent asking you do this, so that they can take some action and perhaps block this person.

You can also report it to the police through CEOP. They will then investigate what has happened and to try find the person who was asking that you send these images. A lot of young people have had similar experiences and have contacted CEOP to get help.

You could speak to an adult you trust - perhaps someone you live with or a teacher at school  for example. This would be to get some support and they could perhaps help you talk to someone else about what’s happened.  For ideas on who you could talk to and how to start that conversation you could take a look at the Asking an adult for help page.

If you’re not feeling ready to do any of these options and just want someone to talk it through with, then ChildLine counsellors are always here for you to do that. I know you said that you’ve sent an email, so really well done for that. It can be a way to talk through how you’re feeling about what has happened, what you might like to do and ways to stay safe online in the future. You could take a look at our Zipit app, which is all about sexting in a safe way that feels right for you.

You may also like to take a look at our Online safety pages which have some good advice about being safe on the internet. You might also find the website ThinkUKnow helpful as it's full of useful information about online safety.

You’ve done really well to write this letter and there is always a ChildLine counsellor here to support you whatever you decide to do next.

Take care, 
Sam

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