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Sharing semi-nude photos

Sharing semi-nude photos is a tricky subject to discuss with a child, as it can be awkward for any parent. However, parents worry about their children sending semi-nude pictures using their phones etc. Children have many reasons for sending these types of pictures, ranging from being in a trusted relationship to be being blackmailed. Where do you start?


The law is clear

Creating or sharing sexual images or videos of a child under 18 is illegal, even if the person sharing the image, is a child. The law wants to protect children from abuse, so the police are unlikely to prosecute children sending sexual images to each other.

Break the ice

Start by talking about image sharing in general and ask your child about the photos they feel comfortable posting online. Remind them to never post or send anything that contains personal information or nudity. Encourage them to come to you, if they are asked to share something that makes them feel uncomfortable.

It's already sent

When parents realise that their children have been sending, sharing, or receiving semi-nude photographs, then:

  • Try not to shout or make them feel like it’s their fault.
  • Offer support and reassurance, so they can talk to you.
  • Stick to open questions such as "what happened?" rather than asking the "why” questions.
  • Talk to them about how to treat others online and what is and isn’t appropriate.
  • Explain the fake identities online, so avoid talking to anyone they don't know.
  • With your child’s agreement, speaking with their school will accesses confidential resources.
  • Spend time exploring the social media platforms and apps together with your child.

Sending semi-nude pictures is not safe, as the image can be saved, then shared online and copied by others. If the image has been shared widely, children may experience anxiety over the image being re-shared in the future. It’s best not share semi-nude images in the first place.

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Visit at  or call the UK call centre 0333 323 0098 for more information.


Date: 31 January 2022 by max robinson