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There is nothing more devastating for parents and teenagers alike than dealing with the consequences of sexting. A moment's pleasure turns into a disaster which can lead to ferocious bullying, name-calling, social exclusion and months of grief for parents and teenager alike. This is something most teenagers are NOT built to withstand, many find this unbearable.
Help, I found pictures of my Teen on Snapchat. She's devastated.
Firstly, and this is important, this happens every minute of the day, and it will eventually blow over, but there will be a lot of pain. Our advice is NEVER EVER to take photos in the first place. Just don't. If you do, Delete. You must delete, the photographs there and then. Friends, parents and schools will see them will see and share (Photos will likely be distributed by a fake Snapchat account).
It's a right of passage for teenagers to test boundaries, it is natural, however, this is one situation that can devastate you, a picture, a picture shared privately within a relationship.
Prepare yourself early in a relationship to say ' No' to a photo request, so when asked, you know how to say No. You came into the relationship knowing you weren't going to take and share sext photos.
Prepare yourself to say 'No' in a firm non-confrontational way, instead of a hard 'No', find some words that work for you. "I am not ready yet for that, let's not make something of it.
Facebook who owns Instagram and WhatsApp say that friends are the most likely people to share your naked photograph driven by jealously, anger, mischief, who knows what. They say your closest friends are the ones that will let you down in this, which makes taking naked pictures even more dangerous.
Really Bad; Your friend has posted you to a porn site, and they won't take it down, your face is shown, not theirs. Requires Police action, will take for ages to sort out if friend not helpful. You are 14, Pornsite is not cooperating.
Pretty Bad; Friends have footage of you, which they are threatening to post online. It may not require Police action. Police can resolve quickly if you show them the footage, they will have seen it all before.
Bad; Everyone in school has seen you on WhatsApp or Snapchat, it's not going online.
Not so Bad; Your friend has pictures which they have not shared of you together or just in a sexual act.
Manageable, just about: A naked shot of you, nothing lewd happening
All of the above are bad, but there are levels. Most Police forces everywhere are familiar with these situations. All of the above have very serious Online reputation issues.
Rule No. 1 Delete, Delete, Delete.
Rule No. 2. Don't take pictures of yourself or anyone else.
Rule No. 3. Don't forget the first two rules.
There is no winning only losing, especially when you can be compelled into committing further crimes, which happens ALL the time. Whats happens when the relationship is over, or people move on.
This will lead to a lifetime ban on entering the United States, Britain is considering the same under Brexit border tightening procedures (under counter-terrorism measures)
Most teens don't even realise looking at porn is illegal.
All WhatsApp, Snapchat, private text will be opened and detailed for the officer to consider, in many cases this leads to additional charges being brought on top of the sexting offence.
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1. You can report the matter to the Police, they will speak with the other parties parents. Make sure you’re speaking with a Police officer who understands. Remember the Police can only speak to the parents, not the child in the photograph/film (if they’re under 18)
2. Explain to teen it is illegal and only leads to really serious consequences
3. Threaten to take the phone off them, or cut the line, Provider will cut the line if it is a bill-pay phone
4. Contacting Snapchat is pointless, they won’t do anything
5. Refer the matter to a solicitor, not easy.
6. Child/Teen needs care, attention, love.
This might be the first time teen realises you can’t simply fix this, generally, they just want the whole thing to go away and freeze up, stick their head in the sand, scared witless. Might be the best scare they get.
In short, there is no fix here. If you want to take legal action, report to the Police, keep them. Otherwise, Delete, delete move on, keep an eye on the child's mental health, use it as a warning. It is devastating for parent/child alike, a disastrous first brush with adulthood.
Check out our article about Online Reputation.
Safety Guidelines – What parents need to know about Snapchat
Let's talk about Sexting
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