If someone you know is being investigated for online offences

Working out what to do when someone you know is being investigated for online offences can be very difficult. Here’s some advice and information about how to prioritise your well-being, talk to people and get the support you need.

Taking care of yourself

It’s crucial to prioritise your physical and mental health while dealing with this challenging situation. Feeling low or overwhelmed is normal, and you don’t have to face it alone. Reach out to friends, family, and consider talking to our helpline to make well-considered decisions.

How can we help you?

Through our helpline, live chat and secure email, our experienced advisors can give support and advice. They can help your mental health and self-care, potential impacts on your family life, the role of children’s services if relevant, how to tell other people when you feel ready, and why people offend online.

They can also tell you about our follow-on support for partners, relatives and friends of people who have offended online: our educational programme called Inform.

What happens next?

If the police have taken away internet-enabled devices from your household, they will investigate to determine if any offences have occurred. The investigation can take a long time and once completed a decision will be made about the next steps, potentially leading to criminal charges. Our helpline can provide confidential support and information throughout this process.

Your relationship and family life

It’s essential not to rush any decisions about your relationship with the person under investigation, especially if children are involved. Take time to reflect and speak with someone who understands your situation. Children’s Services might conduct an assessment before allowing the person under investigation to live with children again. Our website had advice on how to talk to children about a loved one’s online offending.

Should you tell other people?

We understand your concern about others finding out. It’s best to confide in people you trust who can offer support, such as close friends, family members or your children’s school. They can provide additional protection for your children. Visit our section, how do I tell someone and relationships with your loved one, family and friends, for more information about talking to those you trust.

Get in touch

If you have any concerns, questions, or would just like to talk about what you are going through, our non-judgemental helpline advisors are here to support you. You can stay anonymous and don’t have to give your real name or any contact details. If you’re not ready to speak to anyone yet, you can also use our live chat or send a secure email.

Find peer support on our Family and Friends Forum

You can also download a pdf with the information from this page.

Can you help us?

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