Advice for young people
It's not all right for someone to:
- Threaten to end your relationship if you don't have sex
- Ask or make you have sex with other people
- Expect sex in return for food or a place to stay
- Share drugs or alcohol with you in return for sexual acts
- Threaten to stop being friends if you don't perform sexual dares
- Give you gifts or money in return for sexual acts
- Ask you to take sexual photos of yourself or share them online or by text
- Threaten to humiliate or share sexual images of you if you don't carry out more sex acts
This isn't a complete list, but if any of the scenarios sound familiar then you may have been sexually exploited, even if the person who did it was a friend or girlfriend/boyfriend. If you are under 18, this behaviour towards you is against the law. No one is allowed to do these things to you and you should get help to report it.
- Stick with mates a similar age to you a good mate won't ask you to do stuff you're uncomfortable with
- If you feel you can't say no, ask yourself: 'Am I in a safe situation?'
- If someone offers you something for free, ask what they want in return
- Listen to your body; a fast, pounding heartbeat and churning stomach are signs you feel unsafe
- Be careful what personal details including photos you give out online, by phone, or in real life
- Make sure you know where you are going and how to get home. Have credit and charge on your phone
- Make sure someone you trust always knows where you are
- Drinking and taking drugs can make you unaware of unsafe situations and you can become a target for people who may hurt you
Think very carefully before going to a house party, hotel or leaving a pub or club with someone you have just met. If in doubt, don't go!
Plan your journey to and from home. If you get a taxi or minicab, make sure it's licensed. Don't accept lifts from someone who has taken drugs or had too much to drink.