It is illegal to possess, take or distribute sexual images of someone who is under 18, including of yourself, but despite this, over 4,000 cases have been reported in England and Wales since 2013 where young people have taken explicit pictures of themselves and sent them to others.


Video highlighting the dangers of 'sexting'


Why do young people send nudes?

Sexting is an increasing issue for young people. It can be done for a number of reasons – a lot of the time it’s seen as part of the natural progression of a relationship; as a joke; and often as a result of peer pressure.

How can it all go wrong?

As soon as a picture or message is sent it is no longer in your control. The ability to screenshot on apps like Snapchat means that the image can be sent on, which can easily lead to blackmail and cyber bullying.

Relationships can quickly sour and suddenly the person you trusted with an intimate image of yourself sends that picture on in an act of revenge.

We always advise young people that the images you post or send out should be ones that you would be comfortable for your Mum, Dad and Grandparents to see!

What to do when it all goes wrong?

If you have any concerns about yourself or a young person:

You can talk to a ChildLine counsellor 24 hours a day on 0800 11 11 or in an online chat.

Parents or carers concerned that their child is being contacted by adults as a result of having shared sexual imagery should report it to the NCA or Ceop

Parents and carers can also contact the NSPCC Helpline on 0808 800 5000; email; text 88858; or call the Online Safety Helpline on 0808 800 5002