While sharing suggestive images or text messages may seem like innocent flirting or be funny for young people, sexting can have serious social and legal consequences. To help protect their image both online and offline, young people need to consider how they manage their own and others’ messages and images. (From Cybersmart.gov.au)
Many adolescents and their parents may not realize that in the state of Victoria such images are classed as child pornography; and can result in teens being charged with offences and placed on the sex offenders register.
The Age recently reported several instances where adolescents have been charged and magistrates have found they are not able to over-ride laws requiring mandatory inclusion on the sex offenders’ list.
To understand more about this law and the issues, you can access the Age article here.
Practical tips for parents to assist their children to minimize the risks of sexting (both sending and receiving) are available on the Cybersmart website here.
You can also receive support here by clicking on the Cybersafety Help button.