News

Sexting teens fail to realise far reaching consequences

INVESTIGATING offences relating to sexting is becoming an all too familiar reality for Gladstone's Child Protection Investigation Unit.

The unit, currently investigating a case where 20 girls aged 12 and 13 from Toolooa State High School sent graphic images of themselves to a Year 8 boy, said the ease with which pictures could be sent meant the consequences were often immeasurable.

Phones seized as police investigate sexting pics at school

Sexting is defined as sending nude or semi-nude photos by mobile phone, or posting sexual images on social networking sites.

Police say the greatest consequence lost on many victims with regard to sexting is that any image forwarded means the sender loses complete control of who may view the image next.

Even if the first recipient was a trusted person at the time, it doesn't mean the image won't be forwarded onto others in the future.

Senior Constable David Lemalu, a school-based police officer at Toolooa and Gladstone state high schools, said there seemed to be a sense of ambivalence amongst young people about whether sexting was right or not.

This was characterised by the victim often saying no initially because they thought it wasn't right, then changing their minds. 

"In many instances the victims didn't feel pressured, but instead made comments like, 'I really liked them', 'We were going out and it felt right then' and 'It wasn't that big a deal, we were going out'," Sen Const Lemalu said.

"This to me shows ignorance of the consequences or complete disregard for them.

"What young people fail to understand is that the potential consequences are far-reaching - the image has the potential to travel around their school, community, the world.

"The victims become targets for ridicule and bullying, sexual harassment and abuse, which may in turn lead to poor self-esteem and self-image, isolating behaviours, truancy or avoidance of school, eating disorders and self-harm."

For the person forwarding or taking the images, sexting is a criminal activity.

Taking a sexual image of a minor under the age of 16 and sending it is classed as creating, possessing and distributing child exploitation material, even if the person committing the offence is a child.

In cases where the offender is also the victim, police  take all necessary and reasonable steps to investigate, and all victims and offenders are dealt with accordingly.

Police say the greatest safeguard against sexting is parent education and support for young people.

Parents can help their children by:

  • Talking through the consequences of sexting, both posing for or taking selfies and storing or sending them.
  • Making them fully aware that once an image is sent, it can't be retrieved, and once an image is posted online, they will never be able to fully delete it.
  • Regularly viewing or discussing with their child the various sites and contacts being viewed or contact made.

Topics:  editors picks, gladstone police, mobile phones, sexting




Owner told he has no insurance as Gladstone home burns

The owner of this New Auckland home had been renovating it for three years this October and yesterday it went up in flames.

Three years of renos go up in smoke

UPDATE: Migaloo ventured past Gladstone today

FILE: Migaloo is expected to cruise past Gladstone this weekend.

All-white humpback whale Migaloo returns

UPDATE: Chemical spill closes road as police investigate death in Gladstone horror crash

A driver had died in a crash on Hanson Rd.

POLICE investigate the death of a 23-yearold in yesterday's crash.

Latest deals and offers

Drowning Pool gig review at Max Watt's

Drowning Pool played Brisbane with A Breach of Silence and She Cries Wolf at the Max Watt's House of Music.

Drowning Pool prove that 'bodies' hit the floor when they play

#SaveMarinaJoyce: How ISIS theory took over youtube channel

One young Youtuber accidentally gave rise to a conspiracy theory

Talking whiskey with Jack Daniel’s master distiller

It all comes down to the distillery

SIXTY MILES AHEAD sign with Eclipse Records, prepare new album 'Insanity'

Sixty Miles Ahead sign with Eclipse. Photo Contributed

Sixty Miles Ahead to release new album on Eclipse

Thy Art Is Murder are killing it

See Thy Art is Murder on their killer tour happening right now. Photo Contributed

We talk with Thy Art is Murder about touring, babies, and new music

Date announced for Prince tribute concert

A Prince tribute concert will take place later this year

Queensland's $1 town goes under the hammer today

The township of Yelarbon is up for sale.

Unprecedented auction of town's business centre with no reserve

Work starts on $15M Caloundra apartment building

Turning the first sod at the Aqua View Apartments site in Kings Beach are (from left) husband-and-wife developers Alex Yuan and Stella Sun with construction company Tomkins director Mike Tomkins and Councillor Tim Dwyer.

Developers excited about addition to Kings Beach skyline

72-year-old Coast developer set to start new project

GREEN LIGHT: The Cosmopolitan has been approved for development at Cotton Tree.

Meet the Canberran set to deliver another chapter for Coast suburb

Plans revealed for 1500-lot 'master-planned community'

Precinct will be bounded by Boundary St and Shoesmith Rd

Ecco Ripley sales run sparks prime release

MOVING IN: Sekisui House has announced the release of more residential blocks at Ecco Ripley.

Sekisui House is preparing to unveil more land at Ecco Ripley

The climb is slow but property on the way up

Michael Matusik, director of Matusik Property Insights.Photo Allan Reinikka / The Morning Bulletin

The improvement would be mild when compared to past cycles