Are you aware of Sexting?
Sexting is defined as when a person sends an illegal image to another person. An illegal image is where the person in the image is; or appears to be under 18 and the image is sexual. Sexual means the person can be naked, semi naked or in underwear if sexual. It doesn't matter if the image was taken with or sent with consent. This normally takes place between people of similar age but is also something instigated by paedophiles.
Why would they do it?
Young people both male and female are under a lot of pressure to look good and comply with what others expect them to be doing. Peer pressure plays a big part whether that is from friends or people they are in a relationship with. Boys especially, expect girls to behave in ways that they would never have done years ago. If someone doesn't comply then they often face verbal abuse online and offline.
What can I do?
The answer, to start with at least is to have those difficult conversations. Make your children aware of the consequences of sending images. Once an image is sent you lose all control of it. It can be copied and passed on without permission, regardless of promises made. Future colleges and universities may come across images whilst doing background checks on you, as can potential employers. Everyone uses social media to check what you have done in the past and they make decisions based on what they find.
Who can I tell?
Contact your school, college or police. We work together to ensure that distribution of any images is kept to a minimum. We can never delete that image forever. The only true way to stop that image being seen by others is not to take it in the first place.