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



How to survive a bushfire in your car

IT SOUNDS like a nightmare, but it can happen.

Eight reasons to join the RFS

SPREAD across 93% of Queensland, the Rural Fire Service has about 36,000 volunteers. And you could be one of them.

What if my insurer gives me grief?

CLAIMING your insurance cover after a natural disaster can go one of two ways. It can be a breeze, or like pulling teeth.

High chance of rain this weekend

Brothers Charity Cricket event. Photo Christopher Chan/The Observer

Rain could be good for fishing

UPDATE: Girl hit by bus airlifted to Brisbane

TERRIBLE: A nine year old girl was airlifted by the RACQ LifeFlight Rescue helicopter.

HELICOPTER called after child is hit by a bus outside a school.

BSL's eco-efficient can recycling recognised state-wide

ECO-EFFICIENT: Boyne Smelters general manager Joe Rea with a stockpile of cans ready to be recycled.

BSL was a state finalist for its aluminium can recycling program.

Local Partners

Sir Mick Jagger a dad again at 73

Mick Jagger... dad again at 73

Ageing rocker obviously still getting Satisfaction

Doco tells the story of Aussie surfboard pioneers

Gordon Woods (far right) in a 1966 ad for his surf shop. He is the subject of a documentary about the Brookvale Mafia airing on Foxtel.

THE Brookvale six were united in the love of their craft.

Kernaghan's a 'boy from the bush' with a timeless quality

Country music singer Lee Kernaghan.

Lee Kernaghan is celebrating the 25th year of his breakthrough song.

Irina Shayk and Bradley Cooper happy as baby looms

Irina Shayk and Bradley Cooper are in an "extremely happy place"

Brad Pitt bids to keep custody battle private

Brad Pitt will go to court to keep his custody battle private

Sia has split from her husband

Sia has split from her husband Erik Anders Lang.

Ipswich City Properties asset portfolio retains its value

Ipswich City Council Administration Building, South Street, Ipswich. Photo: Claudia Baxter / The Queensland Times

New website launched by Ipswich City Council

High profile premier invests in Gladstone industrial facility

Former Queensland premier Campbell Newman heads a group that bought the UGL warehouses in Paget for $10 million.

FORMER PREMIER heads group that's backing Gladstone to bounce back.

INSIDE STORY: The highlights of your $150 million CBD

GRAND PLAN: The highlights of the Ipswich CBD redevelopment and where they will be located.

Work on city heart's radical transformation to begin next year

VOTE IN OUR POLL: Sand mine opponents face serious dilemma

Public meeting for the proposed sand mine at Maroochydore last week.

Coast MP calls on Minister to stop KRA proposal with stroke of a pen

Developer's grand new multi-million dollar estate

NEW ESTATE: This is the only plan revealed by the property developer's new Billabongs Estate in Agnes Water.

DEVELOPER given the go ahead for a massive estate with 149 homes.

Ready to SELL your property?

Post Your Ad Here!