Keeping yourself safe

Out at night: It is important to look after yourself on a night out, try to keep your phone charged, make a plan for getting home, stay with people you know and feel comfortable with, if you separate from them stay in contact with regular texts. Make sure you have enough money left to book a taxi home. If you decide to engage in sexual activity ensure you have condoms with you and you use them properly. The other person should respect this, if not they may not be the right person to be with. If you are concerned about anything following a night out you can speak with a member of staff in the GUM/Sexual Health Clinic or The Clinic.

Online: We spend a lot of time online and it is a great way to meet people and stay connected. However this can be misused. It is important that you are careful about sharing personal details online, not everybody is who they say they are. If you are concerned about someone online or someone is bothering you, you can report this using the CEOP button below.

There is some useful information to help you think about sharing information appropriately via Facebook. Please read the Facebook checklist.

Pornography: Pornography has become much easier to access through the increase usage of Smart Phone technology and access to the internet.  It is important to know that a lot of what is shown in pornography is not normal behaviour.

Pornography can change expectations within relationships.  It is important that you know how to give consent to what you engage in.  It is also possible to withdraw consent at any time and stop the activity.  This should be respected.

Some pornography is illegal, particularly any that is extreme in nature.  Any pornography with children under 16 or pictures which have been produced to reflect a child under 16 is also illegal. 

If you have any concerns about sexual practises contact the GUM/Sexual Health Clinic for testing and refer you on to supporting agencies.

Sexting: Sexting is when someone sends or receives a sexually explicit text, image or video on their mobile phone, usually in a text message.  It is important to remember that the creating, possession, showing or sharing of any indecent image (including one of yourself) of someone is an offence.  For more information on sexting, read the 'So you got naked online' leaflet, produced by the South West Grid for Learning and UK Safer Internet Centre.  

If you are having trouble with someone sexting you can contact CEOP and report it.

The BBC has some really useful advice on staying safe online… Check out Tracey Beaker, Horrible Histories... http://www.bbc.co.uk/cbbc/topics/stay-safe

Domestic Violence: Everybody, both male and female has the right to be respected within a relationship and healthy relationships are ones that are based on a balance of power. Abuse can be emotional, physical, threatening behaviour, manipulation, or sexual.

Where to go to for help? You don’t have to wait for an emergency to get help you can talk with you GP or contact an advice line below such as Childline 0800 1111 . In the case of an emergency call 999.

Women
24-hour National Domestic Violence Freephone Helpline
0808 2000 247

Men
Call Men’s Advice Line free on 0808 801 0327 (Monday-Friday 9am-5pm), or email info@mensadviceline.org.uk

Sexual Abuse: This is when someone is forced or persuaded to take part in sexual activities. This doesn't have to be physical contact, and it can happen online. Sometimes the person won't understand that what's happening to them is abuse. They may not even understand that it's wrong. For more information check out NSPCC website.  If you have any concerns contact Childline on 0800 1111.

Child sexual exploitation (CSE): This is a form of sexual abuse that can affect a child, anytime, anywhere - regardless of their social or ethnic background.

It is where a young person is manipulated or forced into taking part in some form of sexual activity in return for something the that the young person may needs or want, for example; attention, a sense of belonging, affection, money, drugs, alcohol or accommodation.

The young person might think that their abuser is their friend or girl/boyfriend but the abuser is likely to be violent and /or abusive to get the young person to do what they want for them. They will control and manipulate the young person and try to isolate them from friends and family. Please check the Safer to Know website for further information. If you are worried or wish to report this you can contact the Police on 999 (emergency) or 101 (non-emergency) or Childline 0800 1111 or Lifeline 0808 808 8000.

Page last updated:07 January 2015