Essex Safeguarding Children Board
Healthy online relationships - podcast for young people by Brook Essex

Healthy online relationships - podcast for young people by Brook Essex

December 3, 2021

A fantastic new podcast from Brook Essex answering all your questions about how to have healthy relationships in a digital world, the dangers that technology can present with relationships and what to do if you’re asked to send a nude. This is aimed at young people but parents/carers and professionals take a listen too.

 

Transcript follows below:

 

Jo:  Hi everyone and welcome to our Podcast for young people in Essex. This month we are focusing on online safety and our experienced specialists will be answering a few questions based on their experience working with young people in Essex. My name is Jo and I am the senior education and wellbeing coordinator for Brook in Essex, Thurrock and Southend. Joining me today, we have Rey, our education and wellbeing coordinator in Essex-

Rey:  Hi everyone

Jo:  We have Katie, a health promotion specialist in Southend-

Katie:  Hi

Jo:  And Laura, a health promotion coordinator in Southend.

Laura:  Hi

Jo:  Collectively, we have over 10 years experience working in sexual health that we are going to use to answer some of the common questions we are asked when working in Essex. So let’s start with our first question- ‘I don’t feel comfortable when I get asked for nudes but I also think it is expected for people my age to send them- is it normal to have to send nudes when talking to someone online?’ Let’s go to Rey first- Rey what would your response be to this young person?

Rey:  Well I think we first have to think about the law. If you are under 18 it is against the law to take or send nudes- even if the photo is of yourself! We now call this youth produced sexual imagery and the law is there to protect young people from harm. So it’s really important that young people are aware of this law to help keep them safe. The age of consent is 16 so many young people think that it’s ok to send nudes if you are 16 or over, but the law says that if you are under 18 you aren’t legally an adult yet.

Laura:  That’s a great point, we hear from a lot of young people that they didn’t know it was against the law if they are 17 for example. The other thing to remember is that if you took the photo when you were under 18 but do not send it until you are over 18, it is still against the law- the photo freezes your age in time.

Katie:  Absolutely. It’s also super important that we think about the risks. Sure, you might trust the person you are sending them to now but will you always trust them? And even if you do, devices get lost, accounts get hacked and images get shared without permission- once you send a photo you have no control over what happens to it. Sending nudes can be more risky than people realise, when we are online we tend to do and say things we wouldn’t in real life.

Rey:  That is true, being online or talking to someone through messages can feel easier and we say things we might not otherwise. I think that there is no ‘normal’ when it comes to relationships. What is healthy for one relationship might not be for another. Of course, we know there are things that are unhealthy no matter what. This includes being pressured to send nudes. If you feel pressured or you think someone has shared images of you please reach out to a trusted adult. Schools will have a pastoral or safeguarding lead that you can speak to who will be able to help you.

Jo:  Thanks for that everyone, really great responses there. Let’s move on to the next question- ‘I have been talking to someone I met on a gaming site. We talk every day and now they want to meet. Something doesn’t feel right though- how can I know they are who they say they are?’

Katie:  The first thing I would say is trust your gut- if something doesn’t feel right we should trust that feeling. It can be really dangerous meeting people in real life that we have met online. How do we know they are who they say they are? Unfortunately, not everyone is online with the best intentions and it’s hard to tell what their intentions are.

Laura:  Absolutely. I would always recommend that if you meet someone online in one platform, that’s where you keep all interactions. So, if you meet someone in an online game, that’s the only place you talk to them- no moving to snapchat or whatsapp or even the real world, keep yourself as safe as possible.

Rey:  And don’t share personal information- no one online needs to know your full name, phone number, where you live or what school or college you go to. Keep usernames and online handles completely separate from your real life. My answer to this question is that if you are under 18, please do not meet anyone in real life that you have met online. Now I know that it sounds like we are telling you what to do but in our experience, it is just too risky. If you are over 18 and want to make that decision, tell people where you are going, who you are meeting and their contact details. Take a group of friends and meet in a public place. Be clear about how you are getting home as well- don’t rely on someone you don’t really know to get you home.

Jo:  Thanks everyone, it is so important to talk about how to keep yourself safe, especially when we meet people online. Ok, I have the last question for you all- ‘What are some red flags when talking to someone online, what should young people look out for?’

Katie:  Oh, that’s a good question. I think the first thing is if they ask for something, especially something you don’t want to or are unable to give. So, if for example they are asking for nudes and you say no but they keep asking, or call you names, end the conversation. The reserve is also true though- if they send you  obscene, pornographic, violent or abusive images, end the conversation and report it to the site and the police- a trusted adult will be able to help you through this.

Rey:  It’s not just nudes either. We have supported people that have sent nudes to someone online and that person has then tried to black mail them for money. Threatening to share the photo’s if they don’t pay up. This is also why we recommend that you don’t share images but if you find yourself in this situation remember it is not your fault and to reach out for help. Don’t go through this alone, speak out and get support.

Laura:  I would just say, If you feel sure you’re talking to someone who isn’t who they say they are, or if they’re threatening, offensive or insulting, report it to the site or app you’re using. Don’t feel embarrassed or like you’re wasting their time. You’re helping them keep their site safe and before you brush it off as being a bad experience, just think about the next person they get chatting to. Online sites and apps usually take their member’s safety seriously and will have in-built features to block or report. If you are unsure about how to do this, reach out to them through their support services to get some help and advice.

Jo:  Some great advice there, thank you all for coming along today to talk to us about online safety. It has been great listening to your expert advice and I am sure it will help young people listening to this podcast. And to those listening in, thank you all for joining us. Remember to check out our website at brook.org.uk for more advice, information and real life stories.

SET Think Family

SET Think Family

October 1, 2021

The Children and Adult Safeguarding Boards across Essex, Southend and Thurrock, alongside the SET Domestic Abuse Board are pleased to launch their first joint podcast - a real multi-agency approach with seven boards represented. The podcast covers the concept of Think Family, what reviews have taught us and what good practice looks like.

Consent - Podcast for young people by Brook Essex

Consent - Podcast for young people by Brook Essex

July 2, 2021

Experts from Brook Essex discuss what consent is, bust some myths about consent, and explain what to do if you need further support. 

More information about support services can be found on the Brook website: How to give and get consent – Brook

CE Awareness Day 2021 - Professionals Q&A

CE Awareness Day 2021 - Professionals Q&A

June 10, 2021

This podcast was recorded by safeguarding partners to mark Child Exploitation Awareness Day 2021 and discusses how the Covid-19 pandemic has changed the fight against exploitation. Aimed at professionals and those working with children and families.

 

The Panel:

  • Jim Pearson, Violence & Vulnerability Unit
  • Jennie Read, Gangs Officer, Essex Police
  • Michelle McCreadie, CARE Team, The Children’s Society
  • Rosie McHearne, Essex Child and Family Wellbeing Service
  • Lucy Wilson, Braintree District Council
  • The 2 Johns, EST Safety
  • Lauraine Portwood, Children & Families Service Manager, Essex County Council
Child Exploitation Awareness Day 2021

Child Exploitation Awareness Day 2021

June 10, 2021

This podcast by members of the safeguarding partnership was released on CE Awareness Day 18th March 2021 aimed at parents, carers and members of the public. The panel of experts speak about exploitation and the new challenges being faced in the ‘new normal’. All Child Exploitation information for parents can be found on the ESCB website.

The Panel:

  • Jim Pearson, Violence & Vulnerability Unit
  • Jennie Read, Gangs Officer, Essex Police
  • Michelle McCreadie, CARE Team, The Children’s Society
  • Rosie McHearne, Essex Child and Family Wellbeing Service
  • Lucy Wilson, Braintree District Council
  • The 2 Johns, EST Safety
  • Lauraine Portwood, Children & Families Service Manager, Essex County Council
Online safety - parents of pre-teens

Online safety - parents of pre-teens

June 10, 2021

Podcast by our partners Barnardo’s CARE and The Children's Society talking about those children at the end of primary school, about to enter secondary school who are particularly at risk of online exploitation. It’s a time when some children begin to enter the world of social media, coupled with the brain development they're going through at this age makes it hard for them to make decisions or plan ahead. 

Transcript.

Online safety - adaptation post-covid

Online safety - adaptation post-covid

June 10, 2021

The Two Johns talk about adapting to a new digital world, exploring how signs of exploitation have changed and become more hidden and grooming is being carried out more online.

Online safety - Halloween, scary content and harmful online challenges

Online safety - Halloween, scary content and harmful online challenges

June 10, 2021

The Two Johns (E-Safety Training) talk about the risks of a digital Halloween, sharing scary content and peer pressure to undertake harmful online challenges.

This podcast was recorded during the 2020 lockdown period, however scary digital content will always be prevalent around Halloween and worth being mindful about.

Online safety - bullying

Online safety - bullying

June 4, 2021

The 2 Johns talk about online bullying and how to get help.

Online safety - youth involved sexual images

Online safety - youth involved sexual images

June 4, 2021

The 2 Johns talk about why young people may be drawn into taking and/or sharing inappropriate images, how to talk to the young person and get support.

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