Relationships

What is sexting?

When people talk about sexting, they usually mean sending and receiving:

  • naked pictures or ‘nudes’
  • ‘underwear shots’
  • sexual or ‘dirty pics’
  • rude text messages or videos.

They can be sent to or from a friend, boyfriend, girlfriend or someone you’ve met online. Sexting can easily happen. Things can go wrong – even when you didn’t mean for them to

Is sexting illegal?

When you’re under 18 it’s against the law for anyone to take or have a sexual photo of you – even if it’s a selfie.

This means that if you pressure someone into taking a photo or you share a sexual photo with someone, you’re breaking the law. The police have the power to decide whether it’s for the best to record what’s happened or to take things further. But the law is there to protect young people, not punish them.

  • You shouldn’t feel pressured into sending a sex text
  • Once you send a message, it can be sent to others very quickly
  • Try to talk to the person who you sent the nude image to. Ask them to delete it
  • If an indecent or nude pic of you is posted online, you can contact the website to get it removed.

Getting help

The sooner you talk to somebody about the situation the better. This could be your mum, dad, carer or a teacher. Your school will have ways of dealing with these sorts of problems and can confiscate mobiles if they believe they have sexual images on them.

If you know that an indecent or nude pic of you or a friend has been posted online, you can contact the website, such as Facebook or YouTube, to have it removed.

Advice