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Parents need to educate teens on sexting risks

| Jan 5, 2017 | Criminal Defense |

Sexting is a growing epidemic in West Bend. Teens communicate with each other through emails, social media and texting. As much as they like to share details regarding their adventures in everyday life, some teens share too much. According to Psychology Today, sexting is when explicit photos, pictures and videos are shared with someone else through text message. It is very common for teens to be interested in sex, but when that interest goes too far, they run the risk of running afoul of the law.

Parents should inform their children of the potential consequences that come from sexting. Many teens feel that sexting is innocent and harmless fun, states NoBullying.com. The risk is minimal for the sender when the recipient never shares a sexually charged message with anyone else. However, it is when a sexting message goes viral and is sent to more than one person that the more serious ramifications come into play.

Parents should remind themselves and their children about the law. It is illegal for anyone to take or share photos and videos of teens who are under the age of 18. Anyone who sends, receives and is in possession of sexually explicit pictures, videos, messages and texts involving minors may face criminal charges.

Emotional and psychological damage can occur when teens send personal sext messages to people they trust. These consequences can be catastrophic and lead to depression and suicide in some cases when that trust is violated and those messages are shared with others. School officials, parents and local authorities become aware of the situation and suddenly it is no longer private.

As tempting as it is for teens to text and share photos and messages with each other. Parents should continue to stress how dangerous and life-altering sexting can be. They should instruct their children to use their mobile devices responsibly and to exercise proper judgment to avoid this type of situation.