Maddie

Maddie Profile
  • Name: Maddie
  • Age: 15
  • Home town: Thame

"I'm sure I said not but he didn't seem to listen. I didn't know how to stop him"


Getting support

Maddie and Mitchell’s story was created by young people who have been supported by SAFE! and is based on their experiences. SAFE! meets young people like Maddie every day, and hears similar stories. Find out what happened next for Maddie.

If you are struggling to cope with the impact of crime, tell someone what has happened, they might be able to help. To find out more about the support SAFE! provides, check out our website, or get in touch with us directly, and someone will call you back.

You can get immediate help from Childline on their website or by calling on 0800 1111.

Victim Support has information and further help for young victims of crime

If you are in immediate danger, call the police by dialling 999

Thinking of sending nudes?

  • It might seem exciting at the time, but….
  • Take a moment to think before pressing send
  • Once you’ve sent it you don’t have control over what happens next
  • If you've sent a nude pic, talk with the person you sent it to.
  • Ask them to delete it
  • Think about what images you share with someone when you’re in a relationship.
  • Would it be easy to identify you if an image is shared?
  • Never let anyone guilt or pressurise you into sending a nude
Maddie thinking of sending nudes

Sexting and the law

  • Under 18? It’s against the law for anyone to take or have a sexual photo of you – even if it’s a selfie.
  • If you share a sexual photo with someone, you are breaking the law.
  • The police have the power to decide whether to take things further.
  • If you’re both under 18 and freely consented it’s unlikely that the police would take things further
  • If you are over 18 and someone shares a sexualised image of you without your consent they are breaking the law – see Revenge Porn
  • If an indecent or nude pic of you is posted online, speak to an adult you trust or to Childline and they will help you sort things out
  • If someone online asks you for a nude image, or you have shared a sexual image online and someone has threatened you, you can also report to CEOP

Other websites and places to find out more and get help:

So you got naked online SWGFL toolkit

Childline - Sexting

DisrespectNobody

You can also take part in Oxfordshire County Council’s survey about sexting to help us find out more about how to help young people

Keeping safe online

  • Be careful who you add as a friend online, especially if you don’t know them in real life
  • If you meet someone over the internet you don’t know who they really are.
  • They might be a lot older or a lot younger than you think they are
  • Never meet someone in person who you have only just met online
  • If you are meeting in person bring a friend and meet in a public place
  • Only share things online that you would be happy for your family and teachers to see
  • Check your privacy settings and keep and update a strong password
  • Take time for yourself offline too – switch off and connect with people face to face

Childline - Staying Safe Online

Maddie keeping safe online

Signs of a healthy relationship

  • Listen to each other’s feelings, hopes and dreams
  • Respect each other and who you both are
  • Have an equal partnership where decisions are shared together
  • Trust each other -you don’t need to know where each other is all the time
  • Give each other space/time to spend alone or with other friends and family
  • Respect each other’s sexual boundaries and the right to say no
  • Respect each other’s property and privacy
  • Do nice things for each other without expecting anything in return
  • Accept and respect yourself and expect the same from your partner

Here are some links with more information about healthy relationships:

Cool Not Cool Quiz

LoveSmart - The Mix

ThinkUKnow - Sexual Exploitation

Childline - Healthy and unhealthy relationships

Brook

Maddie Banner

Be a true friend

  • If your friend has sent a nude and it gets shared around, support them and don’t judge them, remember everyone makes mistakes
  • If someone sends you a sexualised image, text or video, don’t keep it or send in on to others.
  • By joining in with others you are both breaking the law, and putting that person's reputation and self-esteem at risk.
  • Think about how you would feel if this happened to you, and be brave enough to go against the crowd

Mitchell

Mitchell
Mitchell Profile
  • Name: Mitchell
  • Age: 19
  • Home town: Aylesbury

"Maybe it's my lucky day! Pretty girls that are single are hard to find"

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Rape

Having sex with someone who has not given consent is rape. An experience of rape or sexual assault can have many life changing effects: Some people may…

  • Feel isolated and withdrawn
  • Lose some of their self-esteem and self-worth
  • Drop out of school, college or work
  • Find that their relationships with friends and families are damaged
  • Develop mental health issues
  • Struggle with future relationships

Why do sexual assault survivors feel shame?

Rape and Sexual Assault

Mitchell

Be a good boyfriend/girlfriend

  • It is never OK to make someone do something they don’t want to or to make them feel scared or intimidated.
  • Build trust – you shouldn’t need to know where each other is all the time.
  • Jealousy is ugly - give each other space/time to spend alone or with other friends and family
  • If you hurt or upset someone with your words, take responsibility and say sorry.
  • Learn from your mistakes and learn what your partner needs from you
  • Try using ‘I statements’ to communicate how you feel to someone who has upset you…
  • I feel _______ when you ______ because ______

You can find out more about healthy relationships here:

Healthy Relationships

Mitchell Banner

What is revenge porn?

It’s against UK law to share private sexual photographs and films of someone without their consent and with the intent to cause distress. This is commonly referred to as “revenge porn”. This applies to people over the age of 18. Anyone found guilty of this offence could face a prison sentence of up to two years, a fine or both. Sexting by people under the age of 18 is against the law because it involves sharing a sexual image of a child.

  • Don’t ever pressurise someone into sending a sexualised image, text or video
  • You will be putting them at risk and you will also be breaking the law
  • Remember that once you send an image you lose control over what will happen to it
  • Relationships do break down and in the aftermath of a breakdown people can behave badly
  • If this happens to you make sure you talk to someone and get support.
  • You can also report this to the website where it’s posted and they will take the image down
  • Go to the revenge porn helpline for more information and support

How to be a ‘real’ man

Working out who you are can be difficult. Our brains are still developing well into our twenties even once we’ve become adults. Here’s a few tips for the journey.

  • Try out new stuff and challenge yourself
  • Find out what you’re good at and feel confident doing it
  • Be yourself. Don’t feel you have to follow the crowd
  • Experiment with your values and give them your own voice
  • Respect others and you’ll get respect back
  • Mistakes are to learn from
  • Don’t suffer in silence – that thing about men not showing emotions is a myth
  • Guys need to express their passion and worries too. Talk it out!
  • Move on! There’s always another day to put this one in perspective.

Here are a couple of our favourite inspiring messages for men:

Tony Porter's TedTalk 'A Call To Men'

Doc Brown takes down sexism in 13 minutes


Katie

Katie Profile
  • Name: Katie
  • Age: 14
  • Home town: Maidenhead

"Maybe if I was prettier and had lots of friends I would be happy too"


How to get support

Bullying, both on and off line, can have a massive impact on anyone. Katie’s experience is all too common. According to the Anti-Bullying survey, 1.5 million young people reported being bullied in 2016. If you have been a victim of bullying, remember that you are not alone, and that you can ask for help. Find out how SAFE! helped Katie.

If you are struggling to cope with the impact of bullying or crime, tell someone what has happened, they might be able to help. To find out more about the support SAFE! provides, check out our website, or get in touch with us directly, and someone will call you back.

You can get immediate help from Childline on their website or by calling on 0800 1111.

Victim Support has information and further help for young victims of crime

If you are in immediate danger, call the police by dialling 999

Tips for good self-esteem

  • Believe in yourself and your right to be loved and respected
  • Have personal goals and aspirations
  • Take pride and acknowledge when you have done something good
  • Keep a journal of positive things about yourself, or things you are grateful for
  • Challenge yourself to be honest about what you do and don’t want
  • This will help you feel in control of the choices in your life
  • Take care of yourself and make time to do the things you enjoy
  • Understand that you will make mistakes, everybody does, the trick is to learn from them.

Youngminds - Tips for boosting self-esteem and improving your mental health

Youngminds - Looking after yourself

How can I improve my self-esteem?

Tips for when you feel like you might harm yourself

  • Whatever it is you are dealing with, know that it is understandable to feel upset, low and hopeless from time to time
  • This may be hard to believe when you are feeling down, but things can get better – it can take time
  • Keep safe – what can you do to remove temptation to hurt yourself?
  • Many people can hurt themselves more than they mean to by mistake
  • Can you get rid of things that you might use to hurt yourself? Can someone help you do this?
  • Think of any other ways you can get your emotions out or perhaps distract yourself…
  • Do something you usually enjoy even though you might not feel like it
  • Think who you can talk to about what is going on – you’d be surprised how helpful it is just saying to someone that you are in a bad place
  • Talk to someone who deals with this all the time – check the resources below or try and see your GP to get some counselling
  • Look up your local CAMHS (child and adolescent mental health) service on the web

You could check out these for more advice and someone to help:

Youngminds - No harm done

Childline - Self-harm coping techniques

Samaritans

Harmless

Katie

How to deal with cyber-abuse

  • Don’t keep it to yourself or deal with it alone. Tell someone you trust. It can help to talk.
  • Don't reply to any nasty messages you receive. Keep the messages that you've been sent so you can show someone.
  • Don't share, comment, or like any bullying posts. Sharing or commenting could make the bullying worse.
  • Tell a responsible adult or the police if something is serious.
  • Remember that things can change. Get help to build your confidence

Here are some links with more help:

Cyberbullying (Online bullying)

Childline - Building confidence after online bullying

How to help a friend

If you are aware that a friend is being cyberbullied or getting abuse online, these are some of things you could do

  • Don’t join in with negative comments, try to think about how you would feel in a similar situation
  • Don’t be a bystander – by doing nothing you are allowing the abuse and bullying to go on and so becoming a part of it
  • Don’t encourage your friend to reply and reply yourself as that may make the bullying and abuse worse
  • Think about how you could support them – could you post a supportive comment online?
  • Ask your friend what you could do to help. Encourage them to talk to a trusted adult and help them to do so
  • Talk to an adult to get advice about the best way to support your friend
  • Don’t keep things to yourself if you are worried – you have a responsibility to make sure they are safe
  • Be a role model and show others how to behave well online
Katie helping a friend

Jessica

Jessica
Jessica Profile
  • Name: Jessica
  • Age: 15
  • Home town: Maidenhead

"Money doesn't buy you happiness... I suppose"

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Is it a crime?

There isn’t a specific law against cyberbullying but cyberbullying does break lots of laws:

  • Protection from Harassment Act 1997
  • Communications Act 2003
  • Malicious Communications Act 1988
  • Public Order Act 1986
  • Computer Misuse Act 1990
  • Protection of Children Act 1978 (Section 1)

Sometimes young people are prosecuted for cyberbullying. The first person to be prosecuted for posting abuse online was an 18 year old girl and she got 3 months in youth custody after pleading guilty to harassment. So Jess is breaking the law by her behaviour and could get into trouble.

Are you a good friend online?

Because people are one step removed when they communicate online this seems to make it easier to start or join in with negative behaviour. People often say things online that they would never say to someone’s face.

Think about your own behaviour online – are you a good friend?

Have you ever?

  • Liked a negative or abusive comment posted by someone else
  • Sent on an abusive comment or image posted by someone else
  • Justified posting or commenting negatively by saying “It was just a bit of fun” or “we were just having a laugh”

You could take the are you a cyberbully quiz to find out if you are cyberbullying or if you are a good online friend.

Jessica Banner

Stop and think before you act

Bullying behaviour can have a huge impact on another person that lasts a life time, affecting confidence, relationships and life chances. If you have joined in with negative behaviour think about the following:

  • Bullying is behaviour which you have the power to stop. It does not make you who you are
  • Is there something going on in your life which you are not happy about or which is making you feel sad or angry?
  • Talk to someone about how you feel, don’t bottle it up and take it out on someone else
  • Causing pain and hurt in someone else won’t take your pain away
  • If you choose to be kind you may feel better about yourself
  • Work on building your own self-esteem and confidence
  • If you realise you have bullied someone, stop and say sorry

More advice on how to stop bullying:

NHS - How can I stop being a bully?

Ditch the label - How to stop bullying others

Support if your parents are separating

When parents separate it can a really difficult time for the whole family, and a stressful time for young people. If you’re finding it hard there is advice out there to help you. If you need to talk with someone, why not call Childline on 0800 1111 or visit their website

Childline - Divorce and separation

Family Breakups

SafeTeens - Dealing with divorce

Jessica supporting parent