Sexting: Non-consensual sharing:

And here lies the problem – what happens when photos are shared more widely than was intended…? Unfortunately people (both guys and girls) like to show off about sex – please don’t think that it is only the guys that do this.

Sometimes people choose to show a mate a picture to make them jealous, or impress them or even for a harmless giggle. Often it is down to thoughtlessness rather than malice. Sometimes photos are stolen from phones, or shared by a third party simply because they are looking through your photos or messages . Sometimes it is down to carelessness of where photos are stored and can be found. To be honest, it is the most likely reason you as their parent may have caught your child out. Ask yourself have you ever been curious and looked through your child’s phone?!? Why shouldn’t their friends do the same?

Also what happens to the images when a relationship ends? Especially if the relationship ends badly… again sharing images to get back at an ex is a crime – known in the media as revenge porn and the perpetrator can be charged.

It is non-consensual sharing that the police are trying to crack down on and they are more than willing to prosecute young people for. These are really serious offences and a perpetrator could be charged with ‘sharing indecent images of a child’ and end up with a criminal record as a sex offender. The fact that it was only a laugh, they didn’t realise it was a crime, other people had done it – whatever the excuse – there is never a good enough reason to share images with someone without their consent. It can be humiliating for the victim, and have serious repercussions for their future too… How would you feel if the shoe was on the other foot.

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