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How do I talk about harmful sexual behaviour?

What do you need to think about, when you’re deciding how to bring this up with someone?

Think carefully about who you want to talk to

It should be someone you trust, and someone who can support you to get help. Perhaps a parent, carer or teacher?

Think about when and where you want to talk to them

It’s important you don’t feel rushed, so pick a time when you’re free to talk. Try to have the conversation somewhere no one will interrupt you or overhear you.

Plan what to say

It can be hard to find the right words to start a conversation like this. So try writing down some ideas to help you. Be as honest as you can and stick to the facts. 

At first, the person you’re talking to may be surprised, upset or angry. This doesn’t mean that they won’t support you, but they may need time to take in what you’ve said. 

They may also have a lot of questions, and that could feel overwhelming. It’s okay to take your time to answer, and to come back to the conversation later if you need to. And you might just not know how to answer all their questions, and that’s okay too.

After speaking with someone about your behaviour, there are lots of different ways you might feel: 

  • relieved that it’s finally out in the open
  • worried about what will happen next 
  • upset and angry about how they reacted

Remember to look after yourself, give yourself time to sort through your emotions, and ask for help if you need it. 

You might also want to take a look at our safe places to learn about sex section.

Safe spaces to learn about sex

Find safe spaces where you can learn more about sex, love and relationships.

Read more