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Sexting has become an all too common phenomenon among young people and carries significant risks, both in terms of their personal safety and well being and in terms of breaking the law. Sexting has led directly to many instances of online harassment and in some extreme cases victims attempting or actually committing suicide, when sexting activities have backfired.
The following advice is taken from the nspcc.org.uk website:
Sexting is when someone shares sexual, naked or semi-naked images or videos of themselves or others, or sends sexually explicit messages. They can be sent using mobiles, tablets, smartphones, laptops – any device that allows you to share media and messages.
Sexting may also be called:
- trading nudes
- pic for pic
Sexting can be seen as harmless, but creating or sharing explicit images of a child is illegal, even if the person doing it is a child. A young person is breaking the law if they:
- take an explicit photo or video of themselves or a friend
- share an explicit image or video of a child, even if it's shared between children of the same age
- possess, download or store an explicit image or video of a child, even if the child gave their permission for it to be created
There are many reasons why a young person may want to send a naked or semi-naked picture, video or message to someone else:
- joining in because they think that 'everyone is doing it'
- boosting their self-esteem
- flirting with others and testing their sexual identity
- exploring their sexual feelings
- to get attention and connect with new people on social media
- they may find it difficult to say no if somebody asks them for an explicit image, especially if the person asking is persistent
The documents below give further advice, please click on the links to view/download: