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To Sam

disturbing image

hi sam.

this is really hard for me to talk about. but earlier online i saw a really horrible, sad and scarring image. i dont want to describe it, but i started crying and my mum and dad know and now its in my head forever. im only 12 and my mum is going to sleep with me and i cant do things like go to the toilet without someone else near me. it has really scarred me and i dont know what to do.

Ask Sam


Hi there,

The internet can be a fun place and has lots of interesting things to read and learn about. Not everything online is like that though and sometimes you might see something you wish you hadn't. It's important to keep yourself safe and make sure that whenever you see something that upsets you, you don’t keep it to yourself.

Most social media platforms should have rules which don't allow very graphic, gory or sexual images to be posted publicly. These rules work most of the time, but sometimes you might still see something you didn't want to. There are a few steps you can take if this happens. First thing is to report the image if you don't feel it should be there. The second thing to do is to talk about what you've seen with someone you really trust. Remember to be careful to check they’re okay to hear about what you saw before telling them. Talking is a way of letting things out and can help you deal with your thoughts and feelings.

If you still can’t forget about it, then you might need some professional help, like a therapist. They may be able to support you to move forwards and put what you saw behind you.

Childline counsellors aren’t therapists, but they are there to listen. If you feel like it might help to talk about what you saw then you can talk to our counsellors about it anytime you need to. They won't judge you.

I hope this has helped, thanks for sharing this with me.

Take care,


Need help straight away?

You can talk privately to a counsellor online or call 0800 1111 for free.

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