‘Sexting’ is where people share naked or partially naked pictures or videos by mobile phones, webcams and social networking sites. It can also include sharing pictures or videos of someone having sex or involved in sexual activity.
Is it illegal?
Yes, if you share a naked or partially naked picture or video of a person under 18 or you keep it on your computer or phone it can be classified as child abuse and you could be taken to court and end up with a criminal record for sexual offences.
15-year-old Dee sends naked pics to her boyfriend Si. The next morning, she finds out everyone at school has seen them. What will she do? Where can she get help?
BEFORE YOU SEND A SEXT THINK ...
What if I say no?
What could happen if I didn't send it, is it worse than what could happen if the sext I sent was shared?
Am I just in the moment?
When you are turned on you may think it’s a good idea to send a sext without really thinking it through. Remember to think about what might happen if the sext is shared.
Could the picture/video be sent on?
If the person you have sent the sext to decides to send it on it's very hard to delete the sext, even if the person you sent it to deletes it, it may be stored on someone else's phone or computer, so the sext could still be passed on.
Could it turn nasty?
If you send a sext that you do not want other people to see someone could use it against you for something in return such as money, more sexts or even sex.
Could someone else get hold of it?
Even if you trust the person you sent the sext to, relationships can change very quickly and it only takes seconds for that person to pass on the sext. There is also a chance of the computer or phone getting into the wrong hands and for the sext to be seen by someone else and sent on.
Things you could say if you are asked for a sext:
Tom: “Can you send me a picture?”
Stacey: “I don’t want to.”
Tom: “If you loved me you would.”
Stacey: “If you loved me, you wouldn't make me, you would respect my choice.
It's gone wrong what do I do?
If you have shared a picture or video and someone is threatening you or you shared it because someone forced you, it is never too late to get help. Speak to someone straight away, a parent, teacher or youth worker – they are there to help, or you can contact the Police.
If you have posted anything you regret onto a social networking site, remove the picture from your account and you might want to think about shutting your account until you feel you are safe to return to the site.
If the picture is on someone else’s account or you cannot delete the picture you will need to report this to the social networking site and if this is breaking the rules of the site it should be removed.
DON'T WAIT ... TAKE ACTION and READ RELATED ITEMS
Coventry Positive Choices Young Person's Service is a free and confidential young person's integrated risk taking service service for young people from the age of 5, their families, carers and affected others.
You can contact ChildLine about anything. No problem is too big or too small. Whatever your worry it's better out than in. There are several different ways you can get in touch with us.