Sexting and image-based abuse: What can I do?

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Sharing ‘nudes’ or ‘pics’ is a common part of the modern romantic and sexual script for many young people.

Sexting is a digital extension of young people’s sexual relationships. At the same time, sexting becomes a cause for concern when sexual double standards, disrespect towards women and coercive behaviour are facilitated or reinforced.

The approach we apply to supporting young people to safely and respectfully engage in intimate ‘real-world’ relationships also applies to sexting. Just like in young people’s face-to-face romantic and sexual relationships, the harms associated with sexting can be largely mitigated by supporting young people to be consensual, safe, respectful and act in accordance with the law.

Below are some tips for talking with the young people you work with about these issues.

Reference

¹ Henry, N., Powell, A. & Flynn, A. 2017. Not Just ‘Revenge Pornography’: Australians’ Experiences of Image-Based Abuse. A Summary Report . Melbourne: RMIT University, p. 6

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