Sexting: Parental Advice

It is crucial to explain to your children the risks that come with sexting and it is equally important to remind them that they can always talk to you if they are worried, no matter how awkward it may seem. It is imperative that your child feels supported and understands how they can remain safe.

What is Sexting?

Sexting is when an individual shares sexually explicit/suggestive photographs or messages of themselves or others. These ‘sexts’ can be sent using any device that allows individuals to share media and messages such as mobile phones and computers.

What is the Law on Sexting?

Sharing or creating indecent images of a minor is illegal, even if the individual engaging in the activity is a child. A child is committing an offence if they make, distribute, own or show any explicit photographs or videos of any individual under the age of 18.
The police can record that a crime has taken place but may decide that taking formal action is not in the public interest so these crimes are not likely to show on future records or checks unless the young person is a serial offender.

ltms sexting

Report by calling

Child line on 0800 1111

Report by calling

999 if you know someone is in serious danger

Report by calling

Parents Against CSE 0113 240 5226

Report by calling

Crimestoppers 0800 555 111

What are the Dangers of Sexting?

The sender of the photo/video/message has absolutely no control over how the content is distributed – as soon as images are shared online they become susceptible to being saved or copied by others which may include strangers

The content of the ‘sext’ may be used to blackmail a child into sending more images or items of monetary value and to bully the child by sharing it with peers

Any indecent image sent online can draw the attention of online sex offenders who are fully aware of how to find and collect this content

Children who have sent these images or messages can become extremely distressed which may lead to self-harming behaviours or thoughts of suicide

Could share a link with you which may be a computer virus or spyware which tells the person your personal information without you knowing – be careful and don’t click on links from people you don’t know!

Report by calling

Parents Against CSE 0113 240 5226

Report by calling

Crimestoppers 0800 555 111

Report by calling

NSPCC on 0808 800 5000

Report by visiting

www.ceop.police.uk

How can I talk to my Child about Sexting?

No child is the same, so you should keep in mind their character and your relationship with them when approaching the subject matter of Sexting

Make them aware that if they wouldn’t want you, their peers or a stranger to see certain photographs then they are not appropriate to send to someone else over a message

Ensure that your child knows that if they are asked to send indecent images, or if they ask someone else to send them it is against the law

Explain to your child that their body is private and make sure that they can confidently and comfortably say no

Let them know that if anyone is pressuring them into things that they don’t want to do, or is sharing things with them that they are not happy about, they can always speak to you about it and you will support them

Report by calling

Parents Against CSE 0113 240 5226

Report by calling

Crimestoppers 0800 555 111

Report by calling

NSPCC on 0808 800 5000

Report by visiting

www.ceop.police.uk

What can I do if my Child is involved with Sexting?

Finding out that your child has been sharing indecent images, videos or messages of either themselves or others may shock, frustrate and anger you but remember, they are likely to be extremely nervous about approaching the subject with you.

You will need to refrain from criticising or shouting at your child as they will need your help and guidance along with reassurance that they do not have to go through the situation alone. Make sure that they are aware that if they do not feel they can openly speak to you about it, they can talk to another trusted adult.

Report by calling

Parents Against CSE 0113 240 5226

Report by calling

Crimestoppers 0800 555 111

Report by calling

NSPCC on 0808 800 5000

Report by visiting

www.ceop.police.uk

Other
Organisations

To report CSE call Merseyside Police on 101  or Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111. In an emergency dial 999.

To report CSE call Merseyside Police on 101  or Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111. In an emergency dial 999.