Sexting is the sending of provocative or sexual photos, messages or videos. They are usually sent using a mobile phone but can also include posting this type of material online.
Although sharing suggestive images or text messages may seem like innocent flirting or be considered funny for young people, sexting can have serious social and legal consequences.
What to do if you are involved in sexting:
Stay calm and delete – If you have sent a picture or video you regret to a friend or girlfriend/boyfriend ask them to delete it immediately. If it is posted online then un-tag yourself and report it so it can be removed. You can also ask friends you trust to help hunt down images and also delete and/or report these images
Report it – If someone else has posted sexual or naked photos or videos online, report them to the service they posted it on.
Try relax and talk to someone – If the video or image has already spread online, try and stay calm. You may like to have a free and confidential talk with Kids Helpline. You can phone them on 1800 551 800 for advice and how to handle the situation. You might also want to tell your parents or ask a trusted friend or relative to help.
What if the police get involved? The Police sometime need to become involved in sexting cases and it’s best to be honest. Their concern is preventing any harm to you and other young people.
Take care of yourself – Avoid looking at the video/image and any comments. Distract yourself by spending time with friends and family you trust. Remember to stay positive. Many people have had similar experiences. Stay strong, you will be ok.