It is important to talk with your children about the possible consequences of sending or sharing intimate or sexually explicit messages, images, photos or videos. Targeted advice is also available for young people, or for adults who may be experiencing image-based abuse. In a eSafety survey, 9 out of 10 young people aged 14 to 17 thought that sexting happened among their peers — as a kind of courtship behaviour. Sharing intimate images may seem like a bit of fun or innocent flirting for young people, particularly those in a relationship. But things can go wrong and it is important your child understands this. See also our guide to unwanted contact and grooming. There are Commonwealth and state and territory laws against asking for, accessing, possessing, creating or sharing sexualised images of children and young people under In some states, these laws only apply to images of children and young people under 16 or 17, but police in every state also have the option of using the Commonwealth laws, which apply to images of young people up to
How common is it?
Situation 1: Your partner asks for a nude photo
Sexting can happen on any electronic device that allows sharing of media and messages including smartphones, tablets, laptops or mobiles. In the UK the age of consent for sexual intercourse is However, it is an offence to make, distribute, possess or show any indecent images of anyone aged under 18, even if the content was created with the consent of that young person. The law is contained in section 1 Protection of Children Act The police have said that sexting by children will primarily be considered as a safeguarding issue.
Sexting or taking, sending and sharing pictures via digital technologies could expose you to risk and can be considered a criminal offence, especially if it involves harassing people of any age. Find out what you can do to protect your privacy. Sexting or sharing photos online can be considered cyber bullying—which is a criminal offence if it involves using the internet or mobile phone to make threats, stalk someone or menace, harass or seriously offend them. If you think you are being cyber bullied get legal help or talk to someone who can help.
Sexting with a partner can be thrilling. It can also be nerve-racking. How can you be sure they're the only one who will see a racy pic?