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To Sam

Sending nudes

Dear Sam

It has been a while since I have sent a nude, but I am still annoyed with what I have done towards my future life. I sent nudes on a dating site using my school email. I have made a very big regret, proberly the biggest regret of my life. The offline world has been a little upsetting. I went through a harsh breakup recently and that has made me quite angry and really upset. I don't know why I sent them, people asked and I gave. I hate my body anyway and it felt good to be told I was beautiful (face and body).

I know it is illeagle under the age of 18 and I'm worried what will happen if my; family, teachers and the police find out. I have told some of the people I trust (friends) and I know I need to find more help. I hope contacting childline will help my problems and calm me a little.

Thankyou for reading my letter, I hope to hear back soon!

Ask Sam

Sam

Hi there,

We all do things that we regret sometimes. Making mistakes it part of life but - even when things haven’t gone to plan - you’re not alone. I can tell that you regret sending these pictures and are worried about what might happen next.

It’s never okay for someone to ask for naked or sexual pictures from someone under the age of 18. You’re right that sexting is against the law. It’s illegal to take, have or share any sexual images of anyone under 18 (even if the image is of yourself). This might sound scary, but you’re very unlikely to get into trouble with the police for sending the images. The law is there to protect young people, not punish them.

It’s natural to feel good when someone is saying nice things to you, especially when you’re feeling bad about yourself or how you look. Even when someone is being nice to you, it’s not okay for them to pressure you to send a nude. You’ve always got the right to say no.

If anyone is pressuring you into sexting, you can use Childline’s app, Zipit to reply. You might also find it useful to find out about healthy and unhealthy relationships.

When you’ve already sent a picture there are things that can help to change the situation. But this may mean talking to others about what’s happened. If an image of you is posted online, you can report this to the Internet Watch Foundation. You even report what’s happened to the police, by clicking the red “Report Abuse” button on ThinkUKnow.

Whenever somebody feels scared or unsure of what to do next, it can help to talk to a trusted adult, like a teacher or a parent/carer. If you’re not ready to do that, you can always speak to Childline. The counsellors are always there to listen and won't judge you for anything you say.

Take care,

Sam

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