October 25, 2018

This One Was Really Difficult to Hear About
 

A disturbing story came out of Las Vegas this week - two students were reportedly found to be having sexual intercourse in their high-school bathroom, and unbeknownst to them, another student recorded the incident, which showed up on social media. The two students in the video were cited for lewd and lascivious conduct, a gross misdemeanor; the student who took the video was cited for sexting and was deemed as a child in need of supervision under Nevada law.

Friends, I cannot tell you how concerning this is on so many levels. Surely, this is traumatizing for the students who were recorded, their families, the student who did the recording, and for the school community. 

We must let our kids know that there are serious consequences and potentially life-long implications to sharing sexually explicit images or videos. Even if the image was meant for one person, the moment it is sent, the image is out of your child's control, and can lead to a world of humiliation, embarrassment and ridicule for all involved -- and even possible legal implications!

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WHAT YOU NEED TO KNOW

  • "Sexting" (or "sex texting") is the sharing and receiving of sexually explicit messages and nude or partially nude images via cellphone.

  • Sending sexually-explicit images can lead to serious repercussions - ranging from school suspension to felony charges and the distribution/possession/production or of child pornography.

  • Studies show 1/3 of parents are unaware it's illegal for a child to send a naked or sexual image to a peer; and more than HALF of young adults (18-22) admit to SEXTING AS MINORS.

  • “Sextortion” is a form of extortion, which victimizes another by demanding money, property, sex, or some other “service” and threatening to harm him or her if the demand isn’t met. 

  • With "revenge porn," the motive can be to embarrass, intimidate or harass the victim. Many states have their own laws about this.


PREVENTION TIPS

  • Tell your child that images are pictures they send over the Internet are never fully private or anonymous. There are NO TAKE BACKS!

  • Make your child aware that when minors are involved, sexual exploitation and child-porn laws can come into play. (Be sure to familiarize yourself with the laws in the state in which you live.)

  • Check your child's texts, e-mail and social media accounts - know with whom they are communicating and what they are posting.

  • Let them know images they post now can have have life-long implications - potential and current employers often check social media accounts!

  • Tell your child not to share, post or forward a sexual image that is received - that could actually open your child up to legal issues.

  • Keep the lines of communication with your child open. While sexting may not be the most comfortable topic of discussion to have, it's an important one. 

  • The best piece of prevention advice is not to take sexually-explicit photos to begin with!

For more information, visit the "Sexting" section of Internet Safety 101SM.


WHITE RIBBON AGAINST PORNOGRAPHY WEEK 
STARTS SUNDAY


Pornography has been declared a public health crisis by multiple states, and the evidence detailing its harmful effects continues to grow, including its effect on: the wiring of the brain; marriages and relationships; the emotional and mental health of children; and aggression and physical violence toward women, among others you can learn about here. Please, take time during "WRAP WEEK" to understand the truth about pornography and see why it's not "just harmless fun!" 
Finally, in case you missed it, I recently had the opportunity to appear on RT America to discuss the prevalence of sex trafficking in the U.S. after 100-plus missing kids were located during a one-day sweep In Michigan. In this segment, I share red flags of sex trafficking, the relationship between pornography and child sex trafficking, and ways to keep your kids safe. Please, take a moment to watch this segment!
 
Thanks for continuing to stay in the fight with Enough Is Enough® to defend children in the digital world!?