Young teenagers are using Sexting as a means of communicating and flirting with each other at an alarming rate.  The number one App currently being used by Australian teens is Snapchat. Available online are instructional websites on the best techniques for sexting. 1 in 7 young people have taken a semi-naked/naked picture of themselves. Sadly, Over half went on to share that picture with someone else.

Sexting is defined as the act of transmitting sexually explicit messages, primarily through the use of mobile phone text messaging. The messages usually contain illicit photographs or video links depicting the person sending them.

Sexting is a crime under Australian Federal pornography laws when it involves people under 18, and it’s a crime for anyone who harasses people of any age. It’s not clear how much sexting is being carried out in Australia by young people but it’s believed to be increasing. In the first five months of 2013, police in Queensland charged 240 children, aged between 10 and 17, for producing and distributing child pornography.

Communication is important because teens can be curious and adventurous and this increases the possibility of them getting involved in unsuspecting situations. Some with charges brought up against them in relation to child pornography, were reported to be in a relationship. Due to their age, in the eyes of the law the offence is child pornography. Its an unfortunate criminal record for a child to be associated with for a careless bit of fun. Please be aware of the laws in your state.

Teenagers can be caught in the trap of thinking that their images are private, and misunderstand that once you have sent an image via phone or upload, its out there and can be accessed for ever. Unfortunately, this could come back to humiliate them in many different ways, including when it comes time to apply for a job. Remember websites and phones do get hacked and it is possible to capture and save another person’s image.

South Australian related News Article on Sexting Laws

Kids helpline has further information on this topic.

 

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