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Online sexual behaviour

Online sexual behaviour

Learn about some of the risks of online sexual behaviour and what you can do to reduce your risk.

In this topic


What can go wrong online?


How can I get help to change my online sexual behaviour?

Frequently asked questions

I am scared to tell my family about what has happened, can you help me?

We understand that you may be feeling nervous or scared to tell your family about what has happened. You may be worried about what they may say or how they might react.

Every family is different and we know that talking to your family about what has happened may not be simple. Having the support of a trusted adult is really important – they can be there to listen, talk and help you find the right help. Think about who you feel close to and trust – perhaps a parent, grandparent, aunt or uncle. Try to plan what you are going to say and pick a time where you will be able to talk to them calmly and privately, without being interrupted.

If you are struggling to think about who you can talk to or how to go about it, you can speak to us anonymously on our email service.

You can also read more about opening up to your family on the Young Minds website.

I’ve got into trouble for my sexual behaviour and now I’m worried about my future. Can you help me?

Living with uncertainty about the future can be stressful and scary. You are not alone – we are here to support you and guide you through this process. Young people who have got into trouble for their sexual behaviour can go on to live happy and successful lives, even if the police have been involved. Try not to think too far ahead, focus on the here and now and take one day at a time. If you are struggling, we have some simple strategies you could try to help you manage difficult emotions.

You can also get help or support with any worries you may have by using our email service anonymously. The person you’re contacting won’t know who you are. You can also contact other organisations who support young people who are struggling with their feelings.

I’ve got into trouble for my sexual behaviour, will I have to leave school?

If you have got into trouble for your sexual behaviour you may be feeling worried about what this means for you at school. What happens next will depend on your behaviour and your school’s policies. It is important that you, your parents or carers and the professionals at your school work together to make plans that keep everyone involved safe. You may not have to leave school, but the professionals at school may need to complete a risk assessment and a safety plan, which will look at how you and others in school can be kept safe.

You can use our email service anonymously to talk more about your situation or check out other helpful organisations page to find out where else you can get support.

Will anyone know I have contacted you?

This website is completely anonymous, which means you don’t have to give us any identifying information like your name, date of birth or address. Your information is kept private and is not shared with others.

This website site does not record any details that identify individual users. This means that if you use our anonymous chat or email service, the person you’re contacting won’t know who you are and your information is kept safe. Find out more about how our chat and email service works here. You can also submit a question to us and if we think it is something other young people want to know, we will share our response.

It is important for you to know that if you do decide to give us identifying details (like your full name or contact details), and you tell us something that makes us worried that you are going to hurt yourself or someone else, we have a responsibility to pass this information on. We will have to send the information shared to the relevant authorities (such as social services) so that everyone, including you, is kept safe from harm. 

What do I do if someone’s shared a sexual picture of me or someone I know online?

If you’re under 18 and someone has shared a sexual picture of you or a friend, let an adult know immediately so that they can support you. Childline and IWF’s Report Remove tool is here to help young people under 18 confidentiality report sexual images and videos of themselves to see if they can be removed from the internet.
This can be a distressing and uncertain time, so it’s important that you take care of your mental health and make sure that you have the support of your friends and family. Visit Young Minds for more advice and tips on how to cope during difficult times.

Need urgent help?
If you or someone you know is in immediate danger or a crime has been committed, call 999 straight away. Do not wait. Non emergency help can be found on our I need help now page or you can chat to an expert anonymous online.

Real life stories

For privacy names of those in our stories have been changed and stock imagery is used.


George’s story


Lucian’s Story