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What is sexting?


Sexting [verb] = sending sexually explicit images of yourself or others.


The term ‘sexting’ describes the use of technology to share intimate or sexual photos or videos.

Young people may recognise the term 'sexting' but would not often use it to describe this behaviour. They would more likely use terms such as 'sending nudes' or 'sending pics.'

The term 'sexting' has come to include many different forms and can happen as part of an established or emerging relationship, as a dare, or through lack of understanding. The content is usually initially created to be sent to a particular individual, but can end up being shared more widely. For example, a person may send a nude image consensually, to someone they feel they can trust, but that person shares it on elsewhere without permission. It is often associated with teenagers, but can happen between younger children as well. 

Unfortunately, not all incidents of sexting are consenual and it might be that a person is blackmailed or coerced with the threat of someone ‘leaking’ their nude images to their friends or family. It is also possible that a nude image appears online, with the name of someone attached to it, but in fact is an image found online with no connection to the victim. 

Such images can be created using a range of mobile devices, technologies and online spaces. Photos and videos are often created via phones, tablets or webcams, and may be shared via messaging apps or social media sites.


How can I talk to my child about the risks of sexting?

Communication is key. Have regular conversations with your child about their online life, and show an interest in what they like and do online, whilst still allowing them the level of privacy you both are comfortable with. They will be more likely to seek advice from you if they know you take an interest and want to support them.

Reassure them it is never too late to tell someone if they are facing a difficult situation online, regardless of what they might have done, or how long it's been going on for.


(Taken from ChildNet)