Sexting – a modern problem

By: yourtown 12 Feb 2015 Kids Helpline

It might seem harmless enough at the time – a sexy text sent in a spontaneous moment to a boyfriend or girlfriend. Unfortunately the consequences can be far-reaching, long lasting and very serious.


Many young people are unaware of the legal and social consequences of their actions. It is illegal to take, send or receive sexual images of a minor – even if it is a picture of yourself – and doing so can result in charges under Australia’s tough paedophile laws.

As part of our focus on Safer Internet Day Kids Helpline has tips for parents to help guide young people:

  • Talk through the consequences of ‘sexting’ - both posing for images and storing or sending them. For the person forwarding or taking the images, sexting is a criminal activity.
  • Ensure your child understands that once an image is sent, it can't be retrieved. Not only will it be available for others to see now, but also in years to come.
  • Encourage open discussion with your child. Talk about who they're talking to online and what sites they visit.
  • Make an effort. Try to become familiar with and understand the new technology your child is using.
  • Encourage your child to talk to an adult about any problems or concerns. Reassure them that this won't necessarily mean they'll be made to stop using the technology involved.
We encourage young people to embrace the Internet's huge potential, but it's vitally important they are equipped with the skills and knowledge needed to do it safely and responsibly. Wendy Protheroe, Kids Helpline General Manager.

If kids and young people want to talk to someone they can call Kids Helpline on 1800 55 1800, 24 hours a day, 7 days a week or use email or web counselling services. No issue is too big or small.

Parents can visit the Hot Topics section on the Kids Helpline website for more tips on sexting.

And don’t forget to subscribe to keep up to date with the latest BoysTown news.

#KidsHelplineAU #KHLNotAlone #SID2015

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