(also known as Sexting)
Sexting is a term coined by the UK media to describe the sharing of intimate images amongst young people (under 18) using online technologies and social networking sites. Young people can often feel too embarrassed to come forward and ask for help if this has happened to them and this can lead to the image spreading further afield causing them more distress.
Whilst it is illegal for young people under the age of 18 to share intimate images in the UK, it’s not in the public interest to prosecute young people and there are measures police can take to help protect victims. If the police are involved in a particular incident make sure to ask them about Outcome 21 and how this can help.
If this has happened to you and you don’t want to ask a friend or adult for help, our resource So You Got Naked Online might be helpful.
Most of the commonly used social networking sites have reporting routes for this type of content and Facebook, Instagram and Messenger will hash content to prevent it from being uploaded on their platforms again.
Young people aged under 18 who are worried a sexual image or video of them may have been shared online can use Childline and IWF’s Report Remove tool.
This helps children and young people to report an image or video they think has been shared online, to see if it is possible to get it removed. Once the report has been made, Childline supports the child and provides any updates or feedback.
Find out how to report sexting to commonly used social networking sites below: