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It's also known as nude image sharing. Children and young people may consent free nude photo sharing sending a nude image of themselves. They can also be forced or coerced into sharing images by their peers or adults online. If or young person originally shares the image consensually, they have no control over how other people might use it. If the image is shared around peer groups it may lead to bullying and isolation.
It's a criminal offence to create or share explicit images ofeven if the person doing it is. If sexting is reported to the police, they will make a record but may decide not take any formal action against a young person. You should know what to do if you ever need to help a young person who has received or sent an explicit image, video or message; or had an image shared without their consent. This includes:. All organisations must have a clear policy statement about sexting. This should sit alongside and be embedded with your overarching safeguarding and child protection policy and your online safety policy.
It should outline your commitment to raising awareness of the issues surrounding sexting and supporting children who have been involved in sexting incidents.
You should also have clear procedures that detail the actions which staff and volunteers must take if makes a disclosure about sexting or if they have any concerns that has been involved in a sexting incident. All staff and volunteers must be familiar with these documents and understand how to follow them. There should be clear steps for staff and volunteers to follow if they have concerns about or become aware of young people sharing explicit images or videos of themselves or others.
Your sexting policy and procedures should follow best practice guidance. More information about this is available in the Legislation and guidance tab. This may have happened with or without consent of all the people involved.
And children may have been coerced or pressured into giving consent. Sometimes might tell you directly that they have been involved in sexting. Or they might mention something which gives you cause for concern. Sometimes you might overhear a conversation between children, or see something that makes you worried. Never wait for to tell you directly that they have been involved in sexting. You should follow your organisation's policy and procedures and make your nominated child protection lead aware of the situation as soon as possible.
Give them time to talk and check that you understand what they have said. Your nominated child protection lead should take the lead on responding to incidents of sexting, working closely with your senior leadership team. Safeguarding and child protection should be the main concern of any investigation into a sexting incident and you should avoid criminalising young people unnecessarily College of Policing, If free nude photo sharing is reported to the police, they will make a record but may decide not to take any formal action against a young person.
Your local police force will be able to give you more information about this. It's best practice never to view any sexting images. If the image is on a device belonging to your organisation, you need to isolate it so free nude photo sharing nobody else can see it.
This may involve blocking the network to all users. You should only search devices if the child is at immediate risk of harm. The Department for Education DfE provides guidance for head teachers, staff and governing bodies in England on searching electronic devices DfE, You should also involve parents and carers, unless doing so might pose a risk to their. Our Childline website has a range of resources for children and young people. Childline also provides free confidential support through online chat, phone or. Your nominated child protection lead should make a written record of the incident and all the actions taken.
Following a sexting incident, your organisation will need to review what happened and how it was dealt with to ensure that you learn and improve procedures. You should follow a considered and detailed process when deciding whether or not to make protection referral about an incident of nude image sharing. If you think is in immediate danger, contact the police on If you're worried about but they are not in immediate danger, you should share your concerns.
The NSPCC and police will risk assess the situation and take action to protect the child as appropriate either through statutory involvement or other support. This may include making a referral to the local authority. Report Remove helps children and young people to report and image shared online, to see if it is possible to get the image removed.
It's important that everyone is aware of what sexting is and how perpetrators of abuse can use nude images to harm children. There are a of ways we can better protect children. Anyone working with children needs to know the s that may need help and how to act on concerns or respond if children speak out. You should keep up-to-date with the technologies children and young people are using, so you are able to have relevant discussions with them. Make sure they know who they can talk to if anything ever makes them feel uncomfortable, online or offline.
Parents and carers play a big part free nude photo sharing keeping their children safe online so they need to be aware of any existing and emerging technologies their children might be using. In partnership with O2, we've created Net Awarea guide to the latest apps, games and social media sites children are using.
Net Aware helps parents and carers decide if an app, game or social media site is right for their child, explores some of the risks and gives advice to help keep them safe online. Parents and carers can also keep up-to-date on the latest social networks, apps and games through the Net Aware newsletter. Help parents understand what sexting is, why young people might send nudes or sexual messages, and how they can talk to their children about it. It's important they know how to deal with any issues which their children may become involved in. Creating or sharing explicit images of is illegal, even if the person doing it is.
England, Northern Ireland, Scotland and Wales each have their own legislation on the sharing of indecent images of children. There is also guidance to help professionals respond to sexting incidents. In England and Wales, the Protection of Children Act makes it an offence to take, make, show, distribute, possess with a view to distribute or publish an advertisement with an indecent photograph or pseudo-photograph of.
Part 11 of the Criminal Justice Act makes it an offence to possess indecent images of children whether or not you intend to distribute them. Legislation across the UK does not define the term "indecent", but information about this is included in prosecution guidance see below. Young people may also worry that if their relationship ends, the partner they shared their image with may share it to get revenge. There is legislation in the UK to protect them from this. Across the UK, section 33 of the Criminal Justice and Courts Act makes it an offence to share private sexual photographs or films with the intent to cause distress.
In Scotland, Part 1 of the Abusive Behaviour and Sexual Harm Scotland Act makes it an offence to disclose publicly, or threaten to disclose publicly, an intimate photograph or film of another person in order to cause them distress. In all UK nations, part 67 of the Serious Crime Act makes it a criminal offence to engage in sexual communication with under This includes communication that relates to sexual activity and communication for the purpose of obtaining sexual gratification for example, grooming for sexual abuse.
If an indecent image of shows a sexual act, the Sexual Offences Act states that the police must investigate to find out whether a sexual offence has been committed and act accordingly. This applies across the UK. There is guidance for professionals in different sectors on responding to sexting incidents. These refer specifically to sexual images or video content which is produced, shared by or in the possession of young people under It does not cover sexual messages which do not contain imagery or the sharing of sexual imagery by adults.
To clarify this, the guidance uses the term "youth produced sexual imagery". The guidance includes:. In Walesthe Government has also published guidance to support education settings in responding to sharing nudes Welsh Government, All incidents of youth produced sexual imagery should be recorded as a crime. However, in January the Home Office launched outcome This allows police in England and Wales to record that a crime has happened but that it was not considered to be in the public interest to take formal criminal justice action. Crimes recorded under this code are unlikely to be disclosed on a vetting check in the future although this cannot be guaranteed.
The guidelines on communications sent via social media state it would not normally be in the public interest to prosecute when sexual images have been shared consensually between children of a similar age; however prosecution may be appropriate in other scenarios, for example if bullying, grooming or child sexual exploitation are involved.
The Sentencing Council provides guidance about offence for the possession of indecent photographs of children Sentencing Council, This outlines where the boundaries lie between criminal and non-criminal social media communications. This guidance states that in offences alleged to have been committed by children, young people under the age of 16 will only be prosecuted in exceptionally serious cases, for example if there have been serious threats of violence.
The Home Office has published guidance to help young people understand the law on making or sharing indecent images of children and young people Home Office, It explains the legislation around free nude photo sharing in England and Wales, gives definitions of some of the commonly used terms and tells young people what to do if they stumble across indecent images of children online. Childnet International Cyberbullying: prevent, understand, and respond: guidance for schools PDF. College of Policing Police action in response to youth produced sexual imagery.
Department for Education DfE Searching, screening and confiscation: advice for schools. Free nude photo sharing Department for Education. Home Office Indecent images of children: guidance for young people. London: Home Office.
Welsh Government Responding to sharing nudes - guidance to support you. If or young person needs confidential help and advice direct them to Childline.Free nude photo sharing
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