Is it bullying?

The very fact that you’ve sought out this article to get some advice on your parents bullying you says that yes, it is definitely bullying and you’re definitely not overreacting.

Emotional and mental bullying by parents is not uncommon and can take many forms.

For example:

  • Constantly commenting on your weight or appearance.
  • Emotionally blackmailing you into doing something or behaving a certain way
  • Repeatedly using demeaning or unkind language towards you
  • Telling you that you’re unwanted or useless
  • Saying that they don’t love you
  • Belittling you or humiliating you

These are all forms of emotional and verbal bullying, and many of them are also classed as abuse. You do not deserve this or have to put up with it, and you are not alone.

What can you do?

We are powerless over other people’s behaviour. Chances are, you won’t be able to make it stop. What you can do is cope with it in ways that minimise the impact of the abuse and protect your emotional wellbeing.

Here are a few things you can try:

  • Safe spaces – Establish a place that you can go to get away from it all. Whether that’s your bedroom, the garden, or a friend or relative’s house. It needs to be somewhere that is safe.
  • Try not to be manipulated – Parents who are bullying can sometimes make you feel like a burden. It is important to understand that you do not owe them anything. Try to gain some independence and in doing so, you empower yourself.
  • Strengthen other relationships – If you have a good relationship with another family members such as a sibling, aunt/uncle, or another parent then you should work on strengthening that relationship and building up a healthy level of trust. It doesn’t have to be family either; friends, neighbours and colleagues are good too.
  • In the heat of the moment, don’t engage – When it turns in to a heated argument and voices are raised, don’t respond. In doing so you completely disarm them. Simply remove yourself from the situation and seek out your safe space.
  • Understand that it won’t last forever – Soon enough, you’ll be able to move out, go to college/uni, begin full-time work and become fully independent. Hold on to that thought and put your all into your education and interests.
  • Note that you are not your parent’s problems – What we mean by this is that you should try not to let your parent’s problems affect your own life. It’s easy for us to be affected by things that happen in our home life, but remember that your parents don’t define your personality, you are your own person.
  • Seek out other support networks – family is often considered to be one of our main support networks but sometimes that just isn’t the case. There are so many other support networks out there full of people who truly care and want to help.
  • Speak to someone at school – Believe it or not, one of the amazing things about school and college, (aside from getting to hang with your BFFs every day) that many people don’t know is that there are trained professionals on hand to help you at any time, for free. They don’t necessarily have to be a teacher. You can talk to the person who works in the medical room, or reception, or head of the year’s office or a school counsellor.

Talk it out:

First things first is to understand that you are not the reason that this is happening. Sure, the bullying from your parents may feel pretty personal when it happens, but understand that the problem always lies with them, not you. It is never your fault.

No matter how lonely you might feel right now, understand that you are not alone. This is, unfortunately, something that loads of people have been through and go through every day.

The best thing you can do is talk to someone about it. Tell someone who is a trusted adult or even a friend who is your own age. Whether it’s a teacher, another family member, a sports coach, a care worker or a mate. People need to know what you’re up against and you’ll feel better expressing it to somebody else.

Finally, understand that we understand. We’re here for you no matter what is happening.

At Ditch the Label, we have digital mentors who can help you get through your problems. All you need to do is join the community to get advice. What’s more, is that you can also use this safe space to speak to other people who may have been through the same thing.

Join our Community to ask anonymous questions to our trained digital mentors.


Here are some additional places you can contact to talk things out with professional adults who care about your wellbeing:

The Samaritans – 116 123 (24 hour crisis prevention service)

NSPL (USA) – 1-800-273-8255 (24 hour crisis prevention service)  

Childline – 0800 1111 (Working to stop child abuse)

Young Minds – Mental Health support for young people

Befrienders – Worldwide list of crisis lines 


If you are in physical danger, or experiencing physical abuse or bullying at home it is really important that you speak to a trusted adult about it. You can reach out to any of the organisations above or talk to Ditch the Label, you are not alone ❤️

If you would prefer the easy to read version please click here.

In our Valentine study, 55% of young people admitted to having had a virtual relationship. This statistic comes as no surprise when you consider that the vast majority of our time is now spent roaming the internet and communicating with others via various social networks.

While online relationships have gained some bad press – blamed for a wider disconnection between people and our ability to communicate in offline environments, we have yet to acknowledge the positives of conducting a romantic relationship in such a way.

“55% of young people admitted to having had a virtual relationship”

Informed by our recent research we have compiled 7 reasons why virtual relationships are not as bad as you think:

1. They enable. 

Our research revealed that young people likely to engage in a virtual relationship are those with a physical or learning disability. Virtual relationships allow for human connection, contact and gratification – things which for some, might be challenging to obtain or experience in the physical world.

Those with a disability can also choose how much they disclose about their disability, they can present themselves how they wish and many find relief and freedom from some of the prejudices they have encountered offline.

2. They allow for anonymous exploration of sexuality.

In our report we found that members of the gay community were more likely to have had a virtual relationship. The internet allows for young people to explore elements of their identity, like their sexuality, anonymously and in a safe space without having to reveal themselves to their offline friends and family if they are not ready to do so. This also means they do not have to ‘commit’ to any aspect of their identity prematurely.

“62% of young people who had admitted to having a virtual relationship were from a religious background”

This is in keeping with our finding that 62% of young people who had admitted to having a virtual relationship were from a religious background. It seems that online relationships give young people the opportunity to explore and come to terms with their sexual preferences at a pace that suits them, free from external pressures.

3. They can lead to meaningful offline relationships.

Just because you have met online and conducted your relationship virtually thus far, does not mean it will permanently remain within the confines of cyberspace. Some online relationships eventually lead to the couple meeting in an offline environment and continuing their relationship in this way. In this day and age it is now extremely commonplace to find a partner online – it does not make your relationship any more or less ‘real’.

4. You can easily meet like-minded people.

In cyberspace it is extremely easy to find and connect with people who are of a similar mindset to you and share your interests, regardless of location – distance just isn’t a problem. Unfortunately the same cannot be said of the offline world, where some struggle to meet others who share their identity – this can be extremely isolating.

5. You can practice ‘people skills’ which you can then apply in offline environments.

Although some would argue that the increasing time we spend communicating via social media (rather than engaging in face-to-face interactions) has been detrimental to our ability to forge ‘real’ connections in offline environments, it could be argued that actually, the opposite is true. For those who suffer with social anxiety for example, a online relationship might give them the opportunity to practice talking to someone, joking with someone or sharing their thoughts and feelings with someone – things which they may not have been comfortable doing offline. This could be a great starting point in acquiring social skills which can then be applied in day-to-day life.

“We found that members of the gay community were more likely to have had a virtual relationship”

6. Less stress.

When you are virtually connected with a partner, the everyday stresses that trigger couples to bicker in the offline world are not applicable. For example, the silly little quarrels about whose turn it is to cook, what programme to watch on TV or whether one of you has stayed out ‘too late’ with mates, just aren’t going to take place. This means that potential reasons for arguments are lessened, minimising stress.

6. Conflict management.

When arguments do occur between couples in the offline world, they can often escalate quickly. This is generally down to the fact that in the heat of the moment hurtful words are exchanged and voices are raised; it is easier to take offence when you are there to witness the tone in your partner’s voice, their facial expression and body language. When you argue in an offline environment you are also under pressure to react instantly, which means you are likely to say things you don’t mean – things that, once spoken, you cannot take back. This can have a disastrous effect on a relationship and may even lead to a separation.

In an online relationship however, you have the ability to communicate with your partner whenever you want, in whatever format you want (be that text, audio or video) and at whatever pace you feel comfortable with. This means you have the time to properly consider and articulate what it is you want to say – for example you can type a message, read it, revise it and then make the decision whether to send it or not. This is especially useful when dealing with emotionally strenuous situations and may mean that many an argument is nipped in the bud, if not completely avoided.

Remember to stay safe online. We recommend that you keep your privacy settings high. Before you give away personal details like your full name, telephone, address etc to someone you have not met offline be sure that they are who they say they are. If somebody is exhibiting threatening behaviour, or has your personal information and is giving you the impression that your safety might be at risk, contact the police or a trusted adult immediately.

The things you need to know when coming out

Are you ready to come out as bisexual? We know you’ve probably spent countless hours wondering if bisexuality best describes you– so let us be the first ones to congratulate you!

This identity is so powerful. You’re ready to be open and honest about something you value. It’s ok to start off slow– you may not be ready to tell the whole world!

We have 13 tips for coming out to help you decide who, when, and how you might tell someone.

1. Decide who, when, and where would be the safest to tell someone.

Your safety is #1. You can slide LGBTQ+ topics into your conversation to see how a friend/family member responds, and notice what environments are the most private. Having a friend who knows your location when you tell someone might help ease any anxiety.

2. Who’s the first person you want to tell?

Consider who might take the news well. This may be a best friend, a close family member, distant relative, or acquaintance. Coming out to the “easier” people first will be a great start to building your support team. You’ll then have reassurance for any people who might be more challenging to come out to.

3. How are you going to tell them?

There are so many different ways to tell someone… Will you send them a text? Say something over family dinner? Or maybe bring it up during a hike? Ideally, keep the environment neutral and remain calm so you can fully express yourself.

rainbow, lake, clouds, mountains

4. Celebrate whenever you tell someone.

No matter how small– you’ve just been completely open with someone! We love hearing about successes on our Support Community. Check out the Brag Box.

5. Be prepared for a shock.

Your sexuality is not something new to you– it’s part of you… but other people may not have expected this. Shock can cause all sorts of reactions– be prepared for any emotion, from disinterest to anger, or sadness. Remind yourself that sexuality is a completely natural thing, and that you’re better for having told someone.

6. Help them understand.

Bisexuality is not a term that’s widely understood, or accepted. Many people have misconceptions around bisexuality- check out 10 Things People Say to Bisexuals. Dispel these myths by helping people understand the facts.

7. Who can they tell?

How this truth spreads is your choice. Give clear boundaries for who they can tell. Remind them how important it is for you that they keep it to themselves, at least while you finish telling the necessary people in your life.

8. Give them time to process.

If they’re sad, or angry, remind yourself that this is their process. It’s not your fault. You were just speaking your truth and wanted to help them know you better. Do not feel guilty for their emotions, and if you find their words are hurting you– give yourself some space.

9. Address the conflict.

If someone’s reaction hurts you, check out our information on resolving a conflict, here. This can create a safe place to talk about how their actions have made you feel, and they’ll have a chance to talk about how they’re feeling.

If setting up a conflict resolution isn’t a possibility, consider writing them a letter that includes how you’re feeling, and what you would like to happen for the future.

10. If they can’t accept you – distance yourself.

It’s easier said than done, we know, but try to avoid expectations when telling people that you’re bisexual. Some people may not accept the fact that you’re bisexual, and that’s okay. But it doesn’t mean you have to try to keep them as friends. Good family and friends accept the full you!

11. Come out, again.

Although it does tend to get easier the more you tell people, sharing that you’re bisexual never stops. New people come into our lives, as do new love interests. Sometimes they deserve to know the full extent of our sexuality.

12. Check out LGBTQ+ and Bi-specific resources in your area.

Meeting people who may have had similar experiences is so powerful for feeling accepted! Finding a group where you can be fully yourself, without judgement, is a beautiful thing.

13. Join our Community

If in-person resources aren’t in your area, or if you prefer an online community, join our Support Community! Many of our other members are figuring out how to share their sexuality with people, too.

Two friends share a hug.

So this week is Loneliness Awareness Week. Even though it might seem like we’ve all got hundreds of friends and followers on social media, it is still really common to feel alone, or have friends or family who are dealing with it. Thanks to keeping social media in our pockets, it’s super easy to connect and communicate with others, but this can mean that when your phone isn’t buzzing, you find yourself spending a lot of time alone. We’ve put together seven of our best tips to help you out if you find yourself feeling like you’re on your own.

1) Social Media Isn’t Real

Yes, looking at social media, you would not be wrong in thinking that anyone with an Instagram page is having the best time ever, and has the best family ever, the best holiday ever, the best breakfast ever; even the best dog ever. But remember, you are only seeing what people want you to see. You actually have no idea what is really going on behind the screen.

Just because someone has 10,000 followers does not mean they have 10,000 friends. We are all guilty of ‘hyping’ up our lives on social media, so we should know that our profiles are not a wholly accurate representation of our reality. Don’t compare your life, and friendships, to something that is just not realistic or attainable. Comparison is the thief of all happiness.

2) Remember your worth

If you’ve been feeling lonely for quite a while then it’s understandable that you might start to feel unwanted and/or unworthy of other people’s company. This can lead to you seeing social occasions as further opportunity for rejection. You may start to shut yourself off from people as a consequence because you don’t believe your presence will be missed or worthwhile. But always remember, if you have been invited, it’s because your company is wanted! You are deserving of all the love and kindness people have to offer you so accept the invitation, get out there and enjoy yourself!

3) Start something you enjoy

Good friends often have much in common. Find something you enjoy doing and you’re sure to meet some like-minded people. Sporty? Go to an exercise class or join a run club/gym. Arty? Go to a life drawing class or attend an exhibition! Music fan? Get down to your local venue and support some up-and-coming bands! You could even volunteer your time somewhere. Make the effort to introduce yourself and you’ll meet a whole new bunch of people.

4) Compliment yourself

Are you self-doubting? You may have let your insecurities get the better of you, and this might be preventing you from putting yourself out there socially. Try acknowledging one positive thing about yourself a day, as a gradual reminder that you are perfect just the way you are and do not need to change for anyone!

5) Do not settle for bad friends

You may be craving company but don’t give your time to people who do not value or deserve it; you can still feel lonely in the company of others. Eric Klinenberg, a sociologist at NYU, noted: “Reams of published research show that it’s the quality, not the quantity of social interaction, that best predicts loneliness.” Ditch the frenemies – you don’t need them!

6) You are not alone in your loneliness

You are definitely not the only one out there feeling lonely. Despite the fact we live in an era where the internet has made communication as simple as a message away, it seems we are lonelier than ever before. With this in mind, don’t be embarrassed to make the first move if you want to reconnect or re-establish relationships with old friends. Missing someone? Text or call them and they’ll more than likely be glad to hear from you.

7) Embrace ‘me’ time

‘I’m gonna be my own best friend‘ – listen to the wise words of Beyonce and learn to enjoy spending time with YOU. When no one is available to hang out, chill with yourself! It can be really revitalising to spend time alone. Take a bath, watch a film, read a book, listen to music, reorganise your playlists! Try to make a list of things you’d love to do when you’ve got a spare minute so that you can always be busy instead of bored. Your own company is just as good as anybody else’s and it’ll prove to you that you’re a great person to be around.

Maybe you feel lonely, but always remember that you’re definitely not alone. For more inspiration, be sure to follow our Instagram @Ditchthelabel.

If you’d like somebody to talk to or get personal advice about how to overcome your loneliness, then you can join our community here.

Sometimes in life, we aren’t very lucky. Bad things can happen and we can all go through stuff in our personal lives that can have a lasting effect on us. Once the dust settles, however, one of the scariest things about life after trauma can be understanding how to tell someone about what you have gone through when they don’t already know. Opening up about past mental health issues, bereavement, assault, addiction and more can feel like an endless number of hurdles to jump every time you meet someone new. That’s why we have put together a few tips on opening up about this stuff to people in your life, so that you don’t have to worry about it.

1) Take your time

It’s important to remember that there is nothing making you rush into telling someone about something you have gone through in the past. If you don’t feel ready to tell someone yet, then don’t. It can also be tricky knowing when to tell someone new in your life, whether that is a new boss, partner or friend about what you have gone through. The key here is to make sure you can trust them with the information and wait until you get to know them a little better. 

2) Talk to someone you trust

Making sure the person you tell is trustworthy is crucial, not just so that you feel secure, but also so that they don’t use the information to hurt you in the future or tell others your secret. If you don’t feel like you have anyone like this in your life right now, but still need to tell someone about what is bothering you, you can reach out the Ditch the Label Community here. It is completely anonymous and we will listen to you. 


3) Pick a good moment 

Deciding when to tell someone about your past is a big decision, and picking the right moment is likely to make it easier. Choose a time and a place where you feel most comfortable, and where you know you won’t be overheard by the wrong people. Make it clear to the other person that you are about to tell them something important and discuss if they are ok with keeping it a secret from other people in their life who you do not want to know.

Also, make sure they are in a good place in their life to hear it as well. If they are going through a lot right now, or maybe are dealing with something similar, then it might be especially difficult for them to hear about it as well. If this is the case, consider telling someone else you trust and wait until you feel the other person is in a better place so you can discuss it. 

4) Give them time if they need it  

Sometimes, people might find it difficult to understand what you have been through. If this is the case, try not to take it personally. If they ask for time to absorb the information, give it to them, and take a breather. It doesn’t have to mean they won’t understand or be there for you once they have had time to get used to the idea. 

5) You do not have to tell anyone if you don’t want to

Finally, it is important to know that you do not have to tell anyone about your past. If you feel pressured into telling someone about your experiences, remember that it is entirely your decision to open up about your life.

If you feel like you need to confide in someone, you can reach out to the Ditch the Label Community here.

coffee

Coming out to your parents as lesbian, gay or bisexual naturally brings up a lot of questions. How will they react? Will it change anything? Can I say it without getting upset? How should I say it? When is the best time?

Telling your parents is much bigger than them simply knowing your orientation. It is about you owning your sexuality and having the courage to say ‘this is who I am’ and not living in secret any more. If your parents are homophobic, you may want to check out this article instead.

Here are 9 Tips to help you get there:

1. First reactions are unpredictable.

When coming out to your parents whether they suspect anything or not, this is the first time they are hearing this news. You have had months or even years to come to a place of acceptance and being ready to share it. They only just found out so remember first reactions are not always lasting reactions and they will need time to process this information.

2. Determine whether this is the right time.

It is crucial that you take the time to consider your own personal circumstances when making the decision to come out to your parents. What might be the right thing for one person, may not be right for you. Your safety and wellbeing should always come first.

3. You don’t have to tell them both at the same time.

If there is one parent you are more nervous about telling, you don’t have to tell them together. Start with the parent you feel safer talking to. You’ll know if it’s best to tell them separately or together so trust your instincts.

4. Pick a good time and place.

This news deserves your parent’s full attention. So make sure you choose a time that won’t be interrupted and in a place that feels comfortable for you. You are in control of this situation and its key you feel as comfortable as possible. There may also never be “the perfect time,” and if there is one, you might lose your nerve and let the opportunity pass – that’s okay, don’t sweat it if that happens and try again.

5. Be clear about who they can tell.

This one can easily be overlooked as you will be so relieved at finally telling them, that its natural to forget to be clear what you want to happen next. Decide beforehand whether you are comfortable with them sharing this news with your family or if you want it kept between you for the time being – be clear about that.

6. Their approval or permission is not required.

Try not to expect too much from your parents and wherever possible, avoid measuring the success of the conversation by their initial response. If it’s not what you hoped for, don’t despair or give up. They may just need more time. This isn’t about them. It’s about you and who you truly are. Show them that you are the same person they’ve always loved, just more honest now.

7. Questions are ok.

One concern can be a barrage of questions, especially knowing the answers can sometimes be awkward and uncomfortable. Don’t stress yourself out trying to think of every answer ahead of time. Questions from your parents are natural (but don’t feel pressured into answering things you aren’t comfortable with) and whether you have answers or not just be as honest as you can.

8. Help educate them. 🌈

Whatever reaction your parents have; good, bad or ugly, suggest they have a look at these organisations: FFLAG and BeLongTo;  They are dedicated to supporting parents of lesbian, gay or bisexual sons and daughters and have a wealth of resources nationwide. It will help educate them on all things LGB and give them the opportunity to speak to other parents for advice.

9. Talk to us.

Coming out to your parents is a big deal full stop. Even parents who have the best intentions will frequently get it wrong and say something unintentionally offensive and hurtful. Everyone’s experience is different so whether you are on the brink of doing it, have done it but are struggling or just need some support with it all, join our community to talk to one of our awesome mentors who understand completely what you are going through and get advice from others who have similar experiences…

If you would prefer the easy to read version please click here.

worried about a mate

It’s not always easy to tell when someone’s going through a hard time. Especially if they’re purposely trying to cover something up. As humans, we have become experts at pretending we’re ok, even when we’re not.

We’re often too proud, or too scared to ask for help. We’re so quick to assume that people have their own problems to deal with, we ask ourselves, “why would they want to hear about my problems??!”

The truth is, we need to be better at looking after each other…

Are they acting strange?

So, whatever the problem might be – if you’re worried about a mate, here are some signs you can look out for that might indicate that they need help:

  • Sudden weight loss/gain
  • Not sleeping
  • Not washing/taking care of their personal hygiene
  • Visible physical injuries
  • A sudden change in moods which go from one extreme to the other
  • Appearing depressed, down in the dumps or sad all the time
  • Making excuses for not hanging out or socialising*
  • Lying about where they are going/what they are doing
  • Unusual body language
  • Acting out of character
  • Actively pushing you away
  • Not reply to texts/calls
  • Going out of their way to pretend they are fine, after a traumatic or upsetting event
    Not wanting to talk about things which  you know are bugging them
  • Not wanting to go home

*bare in mind that it can be any combination of these things. Some of them, when on their own might seem like nothing out of the ordinary, but remember to keep your eyes out for other signs that might indicate that something’s up.

Talk it out

Whatever the problem is, chances are, it’ll manifest itself in one of the ways listed above and the very best way to deal with it is to tell you’re friend that you think something’s up. Make sure they know that you’re all ears if they do want to talk. If they don’t want to talk to you about it, you can’t make them speak up.

Instead, try encouraging them to speak anonymously to Ditch the Label. Send the link below in a message and explain that they can access impartial and non-judgmental help from a digital mentor:

They can either post their query anonymously to the community, or message a digital mentor directly. Simply log in, click ‘messages’, and select a mentor to speak to.

Don’t take the risk

It can be difficult to determine whether things like self-harm or talk about suicide is a ‘call for help’ or a genuine attempt or risk. The truth is, it doesn’t actually make a difference because either way, your mate needs help. Never dismiss a suicide reference or threat. It really can be the difference between life and death.

The first and most important thing to do is to speak to a trusted adult about your concerns, especially if your friend is in crisis. Alternatively, you can refer them to the following helplines if they are willing to talk. If not, contact them yourself on behalf of your mate:

naked selfie leaks

Many of us will have sent a not so PG photo, whether it be to your boyfriend, girlfriend or just someone you’ve been chatting to online.

In fact, 4 in 10 of us admit to sending a naked photo of ourselves at least once, so it’s actually pretty common.

What to do when your naked selfie leaks? 10 practical tips

Revenge porn is a form of online harassment whereby people distribute explicit photos or videos without your consent. Revenge porn is an offence and it can leave people feeling violated, devastated, humiliated and unsure of who to trust.

Of course, if this happens to you it will naturally come as a huge shock, so first of all, stop, breathe and don’t freak out. Remember – it’s happened to loads of others including countless celebs, so you aren’t alone in this. As embarrassed as you might feel right now, it will be okay and we are about to tell you about some things you can do.

But what do you do when the dreaded thing happens, and the photo ends up in the wrong hands?

1. Your reactions are normal

It’s normal to experience a range of feelings, from frustration, anger, and hatred. It is, after all, a major breach of your privacy. It’s good to try and do something to process these emotions by ignoring them and burying them away never works out in the long-term.

You could also try our Stress Reprogramming guide.

2. Don’t stress

It’s probably going to feel like your world has come crashing down all around you. The very important thing to remember is not to stress yourself out and fight what has happened.

Remind yourself that where there is a challenging situation, there is always a solution (which is easily forgotten). A few minutes away from the problem can really help you relax and will make you more productive. Take it from us, it’s impossible to act rationally and properly when you’re stressed.

3. Stay positive

You may become worried or anxious about what people might think of you and feel like you want to hide away in a cave until it’s all over.

Staying positive is vital when you find yourself in such a situation. It might seem a bit silly but try and say positive thoughts to yourself to undermine any negative thoughts. Even if you don’t really believe them in the beginning, say them anyway. Over time, they become a habit and the negative thoughts will dissolve.

4. Talk about it

It’s so much easier to get through something when you let others give you a hand. It is really important to tell someone that you know you can trust about what’s happened. This can be a close friend and yes, maybe a parent or guardian. Remember they might kick up a bit of a fuss at first but they won’t judge you. They will, however, be there to give you the best possible help, guidance and advice (and they will get over it, promise).

5. But, don’t tell everyone

You may feel tempted to tell lots of people, maybe to make the person responsible feel bad or it may just be that it feels relieving to share what you are feeling. Try to resist this. Only hang around with close friends who will support and not criticise you.

6. Contact the person responsible

You’re probably feeling angry (with every right) and want answers as to why someone would do something like this. Sadly we have found that it is more often a problem that the person themselves has, or something bad going on in their life that has caused them to do such a thing. We have found that it can be beneficial to speak to them about resolving issues. If you feel comfortable doing it, here are some tips on approaching it.

7. Get it removed

There are some steps you can take to get a photo removed from an online site: you can send the website owner an email telling them to remove your photo from the site.

You can also contact ‘UK Safer Internet Centre’ an organisation that will help you will the removal of images www.saferinternet.org.uk. You can also get advice on the other practical and legal steps open to you from them. There is also a Revenge Porn Helpline who can be contacted on 0845 6000 459

8. Contact the police

Seriously, contact the police and make them aware of your situation. Revenge is a serious criminal offence and as with any crime, you should consider informing the Police at an early stage.

Try and collect every piece of evidence you can, keeping records of everything – this can be screenshots of the site your photo is on, emails or texts. The police are there to help you.

Also, if you are below the age of 18 or were at the time you took the photo, it is also classed as child abuse, which is also illegal.

9. Don’t seek revenge

Okay, we get it, you’re going to be feeling pretty peed off and that’s completely fair enough and normal. You might even feel tempted into getting some sort of revenge of your own. This will in no way help your situation, it will most likely make it far more complicated so try not to be overwhelmed by your emotions and keep your head held high. It’s also likely that you’d get into trouble and it would probably water down your case.

10. Most of all – remember it’s NOT your fault

It’s easy to feel like blaming yourself for what has happened, but don’t! It’s important to remember that you did not cause this to happen and it is not due to anything you said or did.

This behaviour is a form of bullying and is probably the result of them having a bad time in their life which caused them to act out. So again you are aren’t to blame.


We hope that these top tips provide enough advice to enable you to overcome cases of revenge porn.

If you have any further questions about dealing with a naked selfie leak or require further advice, please do get in touch on our community.

Lockdown is proving to be the ultimate stress test for relationships worldwide, here’s how to make sure yours survives…

There’s no two ways about it, getting through the coronavirus pandemic is tough. Navigating relationships isn’t always easy under the best of circumstances, so if you’re having to do lockdown while separated from your bae, we’ve got your back.

We’ve compiled our top tips for keeping things sweet until we reach the other side.

Conflict

Firstly, let’s get straight to this one and acknowledge that this situation is difficult, so try and manage expectations and remind yourself that there will likely be bumps along the way. The situation is stressful and many of us are living in a state of high alert, so it’s only natural for emotions to be somewhat heightened. Of course, most relationships will have arguments and disagreements under normal circumstances, but it’s how we handle conflict that is key.

Neither one of you is at fault for this crisis so allow each other some time to vent about what’s going on – a certain amount of venting is healthy and normal and doesn’t always need to be solution focussed. As a general rule of thumb, it’s best to avoid unnecessary conflict at the moment, here’s how to avoid getting into an argument.

Staying connected

Think about how you can still enjoy each other’s company while you are apart. Make full use of FaceTime or Houseparty so that you can see each other – being able to read each other’s expressions and body language are invaluable and reassuring. Have a regular date night where you watch a film together or listen to your favourite music and talk about everything other than coronavirus. Stay connected with all aspects of their life, ask about their friends and family and stay interested in what they are doing whether they are still working or keeping busy at home.

Try and aim for meaningful rather than excessive communication, so maybe simple but sweet ‘good morning’ and ‘goodnight’ messages to remind each other that you care as you begin and close each day and save up some stuff for when you can properly connect. And try not to get caught up in messages being left on ‘read’ or you notice they’re online but haven’t messaged you. 

Look after yourself

It’s easy to focus on wanting to keep our partners happy but remember that your wellbeing is equally as important. Take time out for yourself and follow the advice here. Don’t give yourself a hard time if you’re not constantly pining after your partner and are coping pretty well; it’s not just okay, but healthy to exist as secure and separate people outside of your relationship rather than be completely dependent on each other. 

Take the time to really catch up with your own family and friends, especially if some of these have been a little neglected since you’ve been part of a couple and it’s more than okay to enjoy these other connections. Although we don’t recommend over analysing every aspect of your relationship, be honest with yourself if this time apart has potentially raised flags anywhere for you that you just can’t shake and you feel there are deep-rooted issues that can no longer be overlooked.          

Respect each other

It may be tough but acknowledge that people react and behave differently in difficult situations and unless some seriously concerning behaviour crops up, that’s okay. Respect each other’s coping strategies as there really isn’t just one definitive way to get through this emotionally.

There will be days when you are both completely on the same page and other times when you are not, so be aware that while you might have a day when you’re feeling really positive, your partner might be struggling. Whilst being open and honest with each other about how you are feeling is key, there will be times when you feel sad and lonely so try not to get too immersed in negativity and keep reminding yourself that this isn’t a permanent situation and ultimately, solid and healthy relationships are worth holding on to. 

Keep things future focussed  

It’s good to be excited about when you can be back together again so start making some plans about what you can do together and where you can go. It could be as simple as getting back to your favourite eating spot, a lazy sunday together under a duvet watching Netflix or being able to book a break together.

Keeping an eye on the future can help make us feel secure and remind us that there will be an end to this situation.

When you finally meet up   

A slo-mo reunion and then it’s all sunshine and roses right? Maybe not, as you’ve been through a lot and emotions will be running high, so when you are reunited it’s likely to be intense. No one can maintain such strong feelings so once the intensity and relief at finally being reunited fades, it’s completely normal to experience a crash or feel pretty overwhelmed. Ensure you speak to each other about this beforehand so you both manage expectations and be kind to each other while you readjust to your normal routines.

If you have had minor disagreements, this probably isn’t the best time to bring those up. Enjoy the moment and consider if actually, unless they are serious issues, are they even worth worrying about now? If they do need addressing, wait for things to calm before dealing with them.  

Finally, remember that many couples manage successful long-distance relationships so this is achievable and it won’t be forever.

run away from home

Over 140,000 young people are reported missing each year. Here are just some of the reasons why somebody may think about running away from home.

If any of them sound familiar to how you’ve been feeling recently, it’s important that you talk to someone about it. Whilst running away might seem like a good idea at the time, you can often be putting yourself in danger.

Bullying

The famous rhyme is a lie – it doesn’t take a genius to work that one out! Sometimes, words can hurt as much as sticks and stones. When people tell us things about ourselves enough times, we can start to believe it.

People who bully are usually going through a really bad time themselves and no matter what they say, it is NEVER your own fault. Even if they are targeting a unique factor about you. Remember, you have done nothing wrong and do not need to change anything about yourself.

Things might feel so bad that you just want to take off and not look back but before you think about running away, try talking to someone you trust and tell them what you’re going through. If you’re being bullied there is help available. You can talk to a digital mentor by joining our Support Community today or check out this article to help you take the first steps…

Being unhappy at home

Whether you live with family, friends, a partner, on your own or in care, home is meant to be a place where you feel safe and happy. When things get hard at home, it can feel tempting to think about getting away from it all by physically removing yourself from the situation.

It might be that you want to leave to get away from someone who is making you miserable or hurting you. There are loads of reasons for being unhappy at home. Written down, some look more serious than others, but the fact is, you’re unhappy and that is making you think about running away. Even small issues can build up over time to become massive. Remember that running away is very rarely a good solution.

Being hurt, abused or threatened

If you are being hurt or threatened, then it makes sense that you want to get out of where it’s happening. It could be that at first, you thought this person or people cared about you, but the bottom line is they should not be hurting you.

Calling the police is a good option, but if you feel you can’t talk to them, you need to tell someone you trust such as a teacher, friend, family member or social worker.

Runaway Helpline can also help you. If you’ve already run away and feel you can’t make contact with the police directly, they can help you by being on the line when you talk to them. We know that bringing this out into the open takes a lot of courage but you are not alone, you deserve to be safe and there are people who will work hard to support you until you are.

Coming Out

Let’s face it, coming out about your sexuality or gender identity can be hard. Lots of people recognise that being gay or transgender is totally fine and does not change who you are as a person. Unfortunately, despite all the progress that has been made, there are still people who won’t think this. They may react in a way that you don’t like, which can hurt, especially if it’s a friend or family member.

Being in a situation where you don’t feel accepted can make you feel as if you don’t belong there and might make you want to leave. If you’re in this situation, help is available from people who care. The first step is to talk to someone you trust such as a family member or friend. Not everybody has someone they can talk to about this stuff, so you can talk to the digital mentors at Ditch the Label who will help you through this chapter in your life.

Not feeling listened to or cared about

There’s nothing worse than being made to feel like you’re invisible. Someone experiencing this at home might want to run away because they think no one will notice or even care. Well, however, you might be feeling right now, you matter.

It can be easier said than done but try not to bottle everything up and think that no one cares. Keeping something inside can make things worse and being able to speak with someone about your feelings and your concerns can help ease the situation. If you can’t speak to anyone at home about it, try a teacher at school or another adult that you trust. Of course, you can always speak to us at Ditch the Label too!


Get help

When we talk about “talking”, we don’t necessarily mean you need to actually say the words. There are services that can help by text, email and instant message. Most are confidential and you could start by saying a little bit about how you’re feeling whilst knowing you can end the call at any time if you feel uncomfortable, then when you’re ready, you can call back.

It doesn’t matter if you’re thinking about running away, are already away from home or back from being away. Runaway Helpline is a free, 24/7 confidential helpline that you can contact by call or text on 116 000 or by email on [email protected], you can also speak with someone online via IM here.

Runaway Helpline have a bunch of online advice too which you can read at your own pace, check out their advice section here.