What is Sexting?
Sexting is when someone sends or receives a sexually explicit (naked picture, underwear picture, ‘dirty pics’, sexual message) text, image or video on their mobile phone, usually in a text message.
There are a lot of reasons why people sext: everyone else is doing it, you’re in love and trust the person you’re sending to, you’re proud of your body, you’re pressured into doing it.
However BEFORE you send a photo, think about:
What could happen to it?
Once you press send, you no longer have control of it. It can be posted anywhere on the internet. It could end up on social networking sites or even porn sites.
Who might see it?
Don’t send anything you wouldn’t want your parents, teachers or friends or a possible future employer seeing. Even if you completely trust someone, other people could use their phone and might accidently see it and use it.
What are the risks?
Even if you use a webcam or an app like Snapchat, the person can take a screen shot in seconds.
Why do you want to send it?
If you want to impress somebody, you can do it in other ways. In most cases, sexting can have the opposite effect and you could be seen as somebody you’re not.
Is sexting against the law?
There are two elements to consider here, having sexting photos on your phone or computer and sending sexting photos or videos:
Having sexting photos or videos on your phone or computer
If you are under the age of 18, the law sees you as a child. Therefore, if you have any indecent images or videos of somebody who is under 18 you would technically be in possession of an indecent image of a child – even if you are the same age. This is an offence under the Protection of Children Act 1978 and the Criminal Justice Act 1988.
Sending sexting photos or videos
If you are under 18 and you send, upload or forward indecent images or videos onto friends or boyfriends/girlfriends, this would also be breaking the law, even if they are photos of yourself ('selfies').