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“Sexting can lead to sexual abuse, child pornography,” warn cops


PRINCE GEORGE, BC – The growing popularity of sexting among teens is a dangerous pastime which can be abused for sexual exploitation and blackmail. It can harm their future professional careers and legally incriminate them in charges of child pornography.

This stern warning was issued Tuesday to teenagers and their parents by the Prince George RCMP which has noted a flood in the electronic practice among teenagers of texting or emailing nude photos of themselves, sexually explicit messages and videos via cell phones to their friends.

“Girls as young as 13 years of age are taking nude or near-nude photos of themselves and sending them via e-mail, SMS texting or “instant messenger” texting to male friends in their peer group. Some photos may even show a sexual act,” the police said in a statement.

Often, these photos are forwarded by the boy to a chat group set up through the cell phone manufacturer or service provider. At times the girl believes the boy will remain discreet only to discover later that her trust was broken. At other times, she fully expects him to pass it on to a pool photo for group viewing.

Once these photos are distributed, they can never be reclaimed and are likely end up on the internet, police say.

This can affect the future of each of these girls, as post secondary institutions and employers often use the internet to help in the hiring process.

Sexting also contributes to the world wide problem of child pornography. From a legal perspective, each photo can be considered child pornography and individuals can be criminally charged the Criminal Code of Canada with possessing and distributing child Pornography.

Parents are also placed at risk of criminal charges if their child’s phone is registered in their name.

“The Prince George RCMP are currently working with the Prince George School District to educate teenagers about the dangers associated to this trend. What is truly astonishing is just how common this is amongst youth,” the police statement said.

Cops urge parents to speak with their children about “sexting” and impress upon them the hazards of this pastime for their future education, career and mental health.

Sexting, they add, has been also a cause of teen suicides, they say.
In advising parents how to deal with the problem, they suggest closely observing the following guidelines: teach your children how to block unwanted correspondence, keep webcams unplugged when not in use.

Parents should also create an environment where your child feels safe and can talk about secrets. look for changes in behaviour and ask questions.

For age-specific tips please visit: www.cybertip.ca/app/en/age_spec

For additional information, go to www.cybertip.ca www.protectchildren.ca and www.safeonlineoutreach.com


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Yehonathan Tommer Posted by on Oct 25 2011. Filed under B.C., Community, Featured, More News, Top Stories. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0. You can leave a response or trackback to this entry

2 Comments for ““Sexting can lead to sexual abuse, child pornography,” warn cops”

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