Ask Sam letter

Asker

To Sam

Made a mistake

hi.

i have been really silly and sent some messages to girls that I wish I could take back.

school have found out and informed parents, both parties have been supportive of me. They've understood I was just curious.

Policeman have confirmed there's currently no further action, however a referral has been made to social services.

What can I expect? I have never been in trouble before.

Ask Sam

Sam

Hi there,

Sexting means sending a sexual message, image or video. There are lots of reasons that you might send one and you might think that it’s okay to do it. But sending sexual messages and images can be dangerous and once you’ve sent them it’s not possible to control what happens to them and who sees them. It’s also important to make sure that the person that you are sending sexual messages to really wants to receive them.

If you’re under the age of 18 it’s illegal for anyone to have a naked image of you, including a selfie, even if the person you sent them to agreed to you sending them. The law is there to protect young people and the police can be involved if sexting is reported.

Sending sexual messages is not okay unless you have that kind of relationship with that person. Asking for naked pictures is also asking them to break the law and puts them in the uncomfortable position of having to say no if they don’t want to – which might affect your relationship.

Because you’re a young person the police or school can make a referral to Social Services so that you’ll get support and the chance to understand more about what you’ve done and how sexting can affect anyone you sent messages to. Social Services will work with you to find out what made you send the messages and help you to understand healthy relationships and what’s okay to send to people.

Everyone makes mistakes and you might wish that you hadn’t sent these messages but facing up to your mistakes and any consequences is the right thing to do. Taking responsibility for your actions can help you to learn from the experience so that you’re less likely to do something similar in the future.

You can apologise for your actions if you’re able to, but always respect the other persons decision if they don’t want you to or if you’ve been asked not to contact them by school or by the police.

Thank you for your letter and remember that you can talk more about this or anything else that’s worrying you with a Childline counsellor.

Take care,

Sam

Need help straight away?

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

Ask me a question

You can ask me about anything you want, there's nothing too big or small.

Write me a letter