Sexting and sharing of consensual and non-consensual images.
There are many forms of Child-on-Child Abuse and one that seems to be more prevalent and possibly more accepted amongst students is ‘Sexting’ and ‘Sharing of consensual and non- consensual youth produced sexual imagery’ better known as nudes.
As a school we ensure that all our students are given appropriate guidance on using online technology, the laws around this and to ensure that they protect themselves online.
Despite this, social media’s influence and the pressure from peers is so great that children are continuing to engage in sexting. They are normalising these behaviours and not understanding the risk that they are putting themselves at and can lead to;
• Mental Health Issues (Anxiety, Depression)
• Victim and/or perpetrator of ‘grooming’
• Child Sexual Exploitation
• Harmful Sexual Behaviours
Once images are digitally shared, they no longer have any control over this even if shared with people they trust it may be forwarded making them vulnerable to humiliation and/or embarrassment which can lead to serious emotional distress. If posted online this can put them at risk of sexual predators who search the web for child sexual abuse images for their own gratification.
In the eyes of the law sending any form of youth produced sexual imagery ‘nudes’ whether they are consensual or non-consensual is a criminal offence and can lead to formal charges. Police often never want to criminalise children, however in most cases we are required to report incidents and they are recorded and considered should there be any further offences.
As a school we have a duty of care, however we are unable to monitor your child’s online activity 24/7. We want to be
able to support you in keeping your child safe online and would advise the following;
• Monitor your child’s activity and the platforms they are using to communicate.
• Check their camera roll, especially the recently deleted.
• Use parental controls, ensure these are updated regularly.
• Encourage them to use their technology in a family space.
• Restrict the amount of screentime.
We understand that technology plays a huge part in our children’s lives not only helping them learn but also to communicate so we need to ensure that they are able to useit responsibly and feel safe and confident to talk to us when
something has happened.
Being open with them and encouraging them to talk about what they are doing online is vital and there are some great
resources which can help support us all with achieving this.
Keep Children Safe Online: Information, Advice, Support- Internet Matters is a website that offers useful advice for
parents to help support in keeping children safe online.
There are other resources which you may find useful.
What to do if you suspect that your child is engaging with sexting and sharing consensual or non-consensual youth produced imagery also known as ‘nudes’.
Part of LIFE MULTI-ACADEMY TRUST