"the sending of texts, photographs or videos of a sexual content via mobile phones, email or social networks"
Julia lies across the silk sheets, expensive lingerie adorning her body. The provocative way she looks in her well practised poses could well be seen in any glamour magazine as the camera flashes away in successive shots.
Julia is just 14, she's met her first love and he has asked her for the photos that she is about to send on her mobile phone. Julia is just one person in a growing trend, surveys show a third of children 11 to 16 years old have received peer to peer sexual messages or images. 40% of parents have no idea that their child has seen or sent these messages or images.
Meet Dee. Dee joined a growing trend of teenagers that learnt a hard lesson
The above video belongs to CEOP http://ceop.police.uk
It isn't just the embarrasment of having the messages or photos spread amongst friends and strangers, the likelihood of adults seeing the images or reading the texts is real. Can you imagine sending your child to school in the knowledge that their teacher may have seen them in compromising positions?
And that leads us on to the legal aspects.
Sending or passing along nude or sexually suggestive photographs of yourself or someone else could lead you to getting charged with producing or distributing child pornography. If you keep them on your phone or computer you could be charged with possession. Do you really want that moment of madness to affect the rest of your life? can you imagine being labeled a sex offender just because your friend sent you images that you didn't want but kept on your phone?
The most important thing you can do if your child talks to you on this subject is to stay calm, be supportive and get as much information from them as you can. If they have received content make sure they don't then send it on to someone else. If they have sent it make sure they stop immediately explaining the consequences.
If a sexting photo arrives on your phone, do not send it to anyone else (that could be considered distribution of child pornography). Talk to a parent or trusted adult, tell them the full story so they know how to support you and don't freak out if that adult decides to talk with the parents of others involved - that could be the best way to keep all of you from getting into serious trouble.
If the picture is from a friend or someone you know, then someone needs to talk to that friend so he or she knows sexting is against the law. You're actually doing the friend a big favour because of the serious trouble that can happen if the police get involved.
If the photos keep coming, you and a parent might have to speak with your friend's parents, school authorities or the police.