Most young people do not see anything wrong with sexting but it’s illegal and has a number of consequences. It is sexual exploitation and can lead to more serious implications.
It is worrying that so many young people think it’s a normal part of a relationship. They don’t realise it is a criminal offence.
Sexting is defined as images or videos generated by children under the age of 18; of children under the age of 18 that are of a sexual nature or are indecent. It refers to sending and receiving, naked pictures or nudes, underwear shots, sexual or dirty pics, nude text messages or videos. They can be sent from a friend, boyfriend, girlfriend, someone that has been met online, over text or instant messenger.
Sexting and the Law
Under British law it is legal to have sex aged 16, but it is illegal and a serious criminal offence to take, hold or share ‘indecent’ photos of anyone aged under 18.
It is a crime to:
-Take an indecent photograph or allow an indecent photograph to be taken
-Make an indecent photograph (this includes downloading or opening an image that has been sent via email)
-Distribute or show such an image
-Possess with the intention of distributing images
What could happen?
There are many cases where the Police have prosecuted, including: In July 2014 a schoolgirl was cautioned for sending a topless selfie to her boyfriend. Sexting could leave children with criminal record.
Stop and think!
-Sexting is ILLEGAL if you are under the age of 18, this can lead to a criminal offence and a police record.
-Who is going to see it? Once an image has been sent, there’s no way of getting it back or knowing where it will end up.
-If you are being pressured into sending a picture, just say NO!
Lucy and the Boy Be Share Aware – NSPCC – YouTube
I saw your willy – NSPCC – YouTube
What to do if?
You have been receiving images
If you have been receiving unwanted pictures talk to someone and report it, looking at images like this can have negative effect, if it makes you feel uncomfortable and unhappy let someone know what is going on.
You are sending images
If you are sending images have a good think about what you are doing, does the person you are sending these pictures too really want to see them?
You should also ask yourself who are you sending the pictures too and what they are doing with them, they could easily end up on the internet or passed around at school.
Don’t be bullied or pressured into sending pictures, they do not have the right to do this you can say NO!
Remember you can talk to someone about this or report it via the ARCS form.