Slough Safeguarding Children

Sexting

What is Sexting?

As selfies have become more popular, so has the trend for young people sharing revealing photos or videos of themselves online.  Often these pictures are sent to a boyfriend or girlfriend but they can involve some level of persuasion or pressure.

The consequences of sharing sexual pictures or 'sexting' can be severe but there are things you can do to protect your child and make sure they realise that a playful selfie may have serious consequences.

  • Learn about the apps, services, games and websites your child uses.
  • Don't wait for something to happen -  as soon as you feel they're old enough talk to your child about the risks of sharing revealing selfies.
  • Make sure they know that it is not a good idea to send a revealing selfie, and that they should tell you if anyone ever tries to pressure them to do so.
  • Remind them that they can't be sure who people online really are. It's not safe to share personal pictures or info with anyone they have only met online.
  • Make sure they know they can always come to you if they are worried, that you will understand, and that you will not be angry or blame them.

If you do find out that your child has sent or shared a revealing selfie online:

  • Stay calm - it can help to find someone who will listen and support you, like a partner, close friend or family member
  • Talk to your child - when you feel calm enough, talk to your child about what has happened. Try to understand it from their point of view. Make sure they know that you are not angry and do not blame them. Remember they are probably feeling very anxious
  • Together, make a plan - the links below give lots of information about how to get photos taken down online, and where to get help if you need it.

Where to get help

  • How to talk to a child about sexting - NSPCC
  • Report to CEOP if you have any concerns about grooming, sexual abuse or exploitation, at ceop.police.uk
  • CEOP has produced four short films packed with information and where to get help. You can watch the films on the Think U Know website.
  • Contact your child's school so that they can support your child and follow up the incident with other students
  • Report the image to social networks it appears on, so that they will take it down. You can find out how to do this for some of the most popular sites on the Think U Know website.
  • Report the image to the Internet Watch Foundation if you need their help removing it from a site without a 'report' function - iwf.org.uk

Useful Links

Call First Contact on 01753 690450 if you are concerned about a child.

Everyone has a duty to keep children safe. If you have concerns about a child's welfare or suspect that a child is being neglected or abused, report it.