Let's talk about NUDES

Worried about what your children are sharing online? Get help to talk about it with guidance from the Internet Watch Foundation (IWF).

Kids today are sharing nude images online – with people they know, and people they don’t.

If your kid hasn’t shared, you can bet they know someone who has.

To keep your kids safe, you need to talk about it.

What you need to know

Teens are sharing images for all kinds of reasons. In a safe relationship, sharing can be a healthy means of exploring their sexuality, and building trust.

But there’s also a lot of social pressure – and both girls and boys are sharing nudes, even when it feels wrong.

Peer to Peer sharing

Images being shared in confidence are routinely being ‘leaked’, and shared more widely across peer groups. This can lead to bullying and shaming.

Some teens (mostly boys) are even engaging in ‘collecting’ behaviours – collecting nude images like they would football cards. This behaviour isn’t just wrong. If the nudes are of someone under 18, it’s illegal.

Online grooming

1 in 10 children aged 10-15 have spoken to a stranger online, warns the Internet Watch Foundation. This opens the door to grooming and abuse. Groomers get to know them, befriend them, and then pressure, manipulate and deceive in order to get them to share sexually explicit images.

If you think your child is a victim of online grooming, call 999 – and report it straight away.

How to talk about it

Talking to your kids about nudes is awkward. And as parents, our protective instincts can lead us to get angry, or emotional. Find a calm moment and open a conversation – perhaps with a non-targeted question, such as:

  • What do you know about nudes?
  • Have you spoken to anyone new online recently?
  • What are you and your friends sharing at the moment?

The most important thing is to listen, and avoid any judgement or blame. Ultimately, you know your kids best.

Take Action

If your child lets you know that they’ve shared nudes, try to stay calm and come up with a plan of action together.

That way you can make them feel more empowered, and less alone.

If their images are being shared by their peers, an action plan might look like this:

If you think your child might be in danger, call 999 straight away.

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A campaign from the Internet Watch Foundation (IWF).