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Child exploitation

Is someone asking you for a nude picture?

A teenage boy wearing headphones completes online work in the school library. Overlaid is text that reads: "Staying Safe Online Poster Hub".

It is very common for young people to be asked to send nude or semi-nude photos. For Safer Internet Day 2024, Catch22 has created a poster to share with children and young people. The poster talks through the very real risks of sharing a nude, and legal implications. We have also shared information on how young people can reduce their risks if they share a nude and what to do if a nude is shared to keep them safe online. 

It’s very common for young people to send nude or semi-nude photos to each other. This could be to someone you are in a relationship with, someone you really like, or someone else you have met online.

What do I need to consider if someone is asking for a nude?

  • Sending nude or semi-nude photos of yourself when you are under the age of 18 is illegal. It is classed as ‘creating indecent images of children’. Anyone who shares the images is seen as ‘distributing indecent images of children.’
  • As soon as you send a nude, you don’t have any control over how that image is used. Your photo can be screenshotted or photographed from another device. It can then be used to bully you or blackmail you to make you do other things. It can be spread around your school.
  • Some people might pressure you to send them photos. It can be scary to say no, especially if it is someone you like, but you should never feel pressured to send a nude.
  • Young people can also be groomed by people they have met online, or by other young people they know, to send explicit images. If someone continues to pressure and threaten you after you say no, you should consider blocking and reporting them to CEOP.
  • You can talk to people anonymously if you don’t feel you can talk to trusted adults or friends. You can call Childline on 0800 1111 or use the online chat at Is This OK? There is also information on the Childline website.

I still want to send a nude. How can I reduce my risks?

We recommend you don’t share explicit images of yourself. However, if you are going to send a nude photo, you should:

  • ensure your face is not in the picture, and
  • remove anything from the photo that is identifiable and could confirm that it is you. This could be things like your school uniform, pictures of yourself or family on the walls, your quilt cover, or your school bag.

My nudes have been shared. What can I do?

If one of your photos does get leaked or shared, you may feel upset and ashamed. However, it is not your fault if someone chooses to betray your trust.

There are things you can do to remove the image and people who can support you:

  • Childline’s Report Remove tool is a free, safe tool that locates nude images or videos and takes them down from the internet, wherever they may be. Put ‘Report Remove’ into the search engine of Childline’s website or scan this QR code.
  • You can also make a report to CEOP (a police organisation who offer advice and support). This is especially important if you have been tricked into sending pictures to someone you don’t know. Type “CEOP Safety Centre” into Google to find out more and make a report.