Sexting

What is it?

Sexting is the act of sending sexually explicit messages or photos electronically, primarily between mobile phones. It is illegal for anyone to take sexual photos of children and young people, and it is also an offence to pass them on - even if they were taken and sent by other underage children.

How does it work?

Because more children have mobile phones with camera functions, more kids are sending photo messages to each other. Sometimes sexting is the result of a prank, such as taking a photo in the change rooms to embarrass a student, or it can be images sent between girlfriend and boyfriend. These can then be forwarded on to other people, with the photographer and the victim unable to control where the pictures go. Sexting can lead to bullying, humiliation and even sexual assault.

What do you need to keep in mind about your children and sexting?

  • Warn your child about the consequences of sexting.
  • Remind them to think before they act.
  • Tell your child that sending or possessing sexually explicit photos of underage people is illegal.
  • Warn them about sexual predators.
  • Learn how to use and monitor your child's mobile phone.
  • Check the photo galleries on their Facebook and MySpace accounts.
  • Give your child clear rules on what they can and can't do with their mobile phone.

Want to know more?

For further information call Parent Line 1300 1300 52 or visit the Community Services website.

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