Sexting refers to sending photos through your mobile phone that are of a sexual nature.
If the image is of any one under the age of 18 it is against the law. It is illegal to create (take), possess and distribute (send) any images of any one under the age of 18.
If the image is of someone over the age of 18, it is illegal to distribute any private sexual image of someone without their consent and with the intention of causing the person distress.
As well as legal implications, there can also be many emotional implications involved with sending images of a sexual nature.
It is important to remember that once you send an image of yourself to someone it can be very hard to have control of what that person does with your image and who else they show.
Once an image is put online (social media) it can be very difficult to get the image completely removed. Even on apps like snapchat, where the image you send can only be seen for a short time.
On snapchat, when the image disappears it doesn’t necessarily mean that it is permanently deleted as people can save a copy of the image by taking a screenshot or recording it on another device.
If any of the above is something you are worried about or is something that has affected you, there are many people you can talk to for support. This includes teachers, parents, your school nurse, Childline, CEOP (Child Exploitation and Online Protection) or the police.
For more information and advice about sexting, staying safe online, and sex and relationships, visit the Think U Know website.
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