Your Rights and Responsibility

How to Stay Safe

Criminal responsibility

When you turn 10, you are CRIMINALLY RESPONSIBLE. This means that if you break the law you'll get punished because you are old enough to know what's right and what's wrong. You have to take responsibility for your actions.


For example, if you cyberbully and you are over the age of criminal responsibility, you can be prosecuted (Malicious Communications Act 1988).


If you are under 16, you can't consent to any form of sexual activity. There is not a defence for anyone anyone over 16 who has sex with someone under 16. It is ILLEGAL, and they can be prosecuted (Sexual Offences Act 2003), put on the sex offenders register or get a criminal record.

If you are under 13 and someone is acting in a sexual way towards you, this is AGAINST THE LAW. There is no defence in court for them, and they can be prosecuted.


Sexting is sending a sexual photo of either you or someone else via text.

It is against the law if the picture is of someone under 18 and anyone who has the image on their phone has an indecent image of a child (Sexual Offences Act 2003).

Social Networks

When online, be careful what you say or do, because once something is on the internet, it is completely out of your control. Don't do something that you'll regret later.

On lots of websites, you can report content. If someone else has posted something you don't like.

Not everyone is who they say they are, so don't talk to people that you don't know. If someone is asking you to do something that you don't want to do, just say no. Block them and report it. Do what you think is right.

There is a police-run service, called The Child Exploitation and Online Protection Centre (CEOP), which you can report to if someone is being inappropriate, or making you feel uncomfortable.