How to report abuse
Whether you are worried about something you've seen online or directly affected yourself, below are the next steps you can take.
If you are a child who is worried about something that has happened to them or a friend online
There are different people to help you or your friend depending on what has happened.
Whatever has happened, it is always helpful to tell a trusted adult (someone at home or a teacher or support assistant at school would be great, or someone at a club you attend). However, if you try to tell an adult and they are unable to help you it is best to keep going with the next steps, as occasionally adults do not know all of these.
Has what has happened to you or your friend involved anything similar to these things:
Someone online has asked to see you in your underwear/naked
Someone online has asked you to send them pictures or a video of you in your underwear or naked
You shared a picture of yourself with someone online and they are threatening you
You were asked to do something on a live stream that you didn’t feel comfortable with
You did something you were embarassed about on a webcam or live stream and the behaviour of the person who saw it has changed
Someone asked you to live-stream and do things you didn’t want to or that you think you shouldn’t have done
Someone online keeps asking me to meet you face-to-face and you feel pressured by them
Someone online was talking to you knew you were a child but was talking to you about sex
Someone online was talking to you about sex and it made you feel uncomfortable
Someone has shared photos you sent them of you in your underwear or naked (it doesn’t matter if you said that they could)
Someone online is putting pressure on you to do things you don't want to do
Someone you met in an online game keeps trying to talk to you privately or asking you to meet in a different game or app.
If it has, then the best people to speak to are usually the Police. These are the sort of things children and young people call the Police about quite a lot. It does not matter whether the person who has asked you any of these things is or seems to be another child online, it is still best to speak to the Police as in most of these situations they can do the most to help.
If you feel embarrassed, do not worry or be scared. People who target children or ask any of the things above of them, often want to make them feel embarrassed so they cannot get help but getting help is so important to stop the situation and to protect other children too.
The first way you can speak to the Police is to call them. It is easy to do this on 101 for help and advice. You can ask to speak to someone without giving your name if you need to.
We would really recommend you phone the Police as your first step if you can.
You can also contact the Police using a website called CEOP. CEOP is an online child protection service where you can report something using an online form. If no one contacts you back quickly should still ring Police Scotland on 101. https://www.ceop.police.uk/ceop-reporting/
At any time, you can ring Childline on 08001111 for some extra support around what you are going through. You can ring them first if you are feeling uncomfortable, or afterwards for some extra help.
If you are in immediate danger please call the police on 999 straight away. Please also tell an adult you trust who will be able to help you.
Has what has happened to you or your friend involved threats that someone is going to hurt one of you?
If it has then it is best to ring the Police in these situations too. The best way to contact the Police in Scotland is to ring 101. If someone online says they know where you are and they are coming to find and hurt you immediately then ring 999 straight away.
Are you being bullied online, or is your friend being bullied?
There are many good people to speak to if you are worried you or a friend are being bullied online. If you are worried you are being cyber-bullied or worried a friend is then click here for more information.