Sexting can happen on any electronic device that allows sharing of media and messages including smartphones, tablets, laptops or mobiles. In the UK the age of consent for sexual intercourse is However, it is an offence to make, distribute, possess or show any indecent images of anyone aged under 18, even if the content was created with the consent of that young person. The law is contained in section 1 Protection of Children Act The police have said that sexting by children will primarily be considered as a safeguarding issue.
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If your child has sent a nude, what steps should you take and what support can you expect from local agencies? Our experts provide insight on this and more about the law, sexting and tips to manage the situation. Most schools will make a judgement on whether to involve outside agencies such as the police but it is important that parents are involved in the discussions and whether support, further education or punishment is most appropriate. Each sexting incident is different and it is important that schools deal with them appropriately on a case by case basis. Many sexting incidents are now dealt with in this way. However, for more serious incidents for example, deliberately sharing an image to abuse, using the image to coerce or exploit the victim prosecution may still take place. The latter is the least likely, as most sexual images are shared via SnapChat which limits the time of visibility. School pastoral or safeguarding staff will usually meet with all of the parties who are involved in the sexting. This might mean sharing information with equivalent staff at another school, should one of the young people attend a different setting. The staff members will interview the students and ascertain if there has been any coercion involved in obtaining the image as well as assessing age difference and whether there is a bullying or abusive dimension to the incident.
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