Whether it’s self-isolation or social distancing, this can be a lonely time for those who live alone. Technology can provide a solution to this in part. Family WhatsApp groups, Messenger catch up calls etc. are all really positive ways of keeping in touch with the outside world.
For some, the opportunity to meet new people online is more appealing than ever. We know that a large number of people create meaningful relationships online. Technology will be used to help people continue all manner of intimate, physical, familial and platonic relationships. A few things to consider if you’re starting a new relationship online:
- Make sure you feel comfortable with how the relationship is progressing. If it feels like it’s going too fast, don’t feel you have to keep up. If you’re not comfortable, that’s a sign that something’s not quite right. It’s important to take notice of those feelings.
- Only engage in intimate relations online where everyone involved is consenting. If someone is pressuring you to share intimate images, this is not OK. If it’s safe to do so, question why they are so keen. Don’t feel you have to engage with the activity if you don’t want to. If you’re younger than 18 and someone is putting pressure on you, it is against the law. You can contact CEOP for further help and support.
- Remember some people will be in this for the money. Already, we have seen a spike in people contacting our helpline for this reason. If this has happened to you or someone you know, do contact the Revenge Porn Helpline for further advice and support: firstname.lastname@example.org
Sharing intimate images without consent is a crime in the UK. You can report this to your local police as well. If you’re under 18 and have had your intimate images shared, you can report this to the Internet Watch Foundation.
When Home isn’t Safe
Whilst home is a safe haven for many, for others, the prospect of being isolated at home with a person whom they don’t feel safe with can be worrying. Home isn’t always a safe place. Look out for those people in your community who may be vulnerable at this time. Check in on them in ways that don’t compromise your own safety.
- If you or someone you know are at immediate risk of harm, please contact the police on 999
- If you or someone you know is in an abusive relationship and doesn’t know where to turn, there are people out there who can help. Take a look at the other services listed on Report Harmful Content to find a whole host of helplines and services there to support people in this situation.
- If you’re worried about a child at risk of abuse, please report this by following the government advice
- If you know of an adult who is living in an unsafe environment and needs extra support, do contact your local council's adult safeguarding team. You should be able to find this on any search engine.
- Please do read the advice section on Report Harmful Content to find out how to report any harm you or someone you know may be experiencing online.
Remember, we are here to help you. Any problems or issues that may arise, please contact one of our helplines. Access more resources and guidance here: