Being a mom in the modern age of technology is challenging in so many ways. Almost half of parents today do not think anything is wrong with sexting. Did you know that one in seven teenagers admit to sexting and the majority of them think that it is perfectly normal and a part of modern romance? Sexting is the sending, receiving or distribution of sexually explicit messages, pictures, or videos over devices and in today’s technological world, it is much more prevalent than you think. Unfortunately, for people under the age of 18, sexting is a crime and a felony. And in some states, like North Carolina, if you are convicted of creating, disseminating, or possessing explicit images of a minor, you could be required to register as a sex offender. The major risk of sexting is its use as child pornography and its connection to human trafficking. Sexting leads to “sextortion”- The practice of extorting sexual favors from someone by threatening to reveal evidence of their sexual activity to others. This includes threatening to harm the individual or those they love if they don't do as demanded." It violates child safety laws, even if it was self-produced. Once a person hits the send button, they lose control over the image. The image may be downloaded, posted, forwarded, used as blackmail and in some cases even ‘held’ to be posted for revenge. Our basic need to be wanted and to feel love are at the core of what drives most teens to send an explicit message; they lack the ability to think big picture and foresee the implications of sending such a message will cause. We are proud to say that our Youth4Abolitionstudent leaders are a part of the latest internet safety series video produced by Shared Hope International. Click here to see our youth leaders in “The Sexting Talk” https://vimeo.com/537948329. Shared Hope International has great suggestions on how to start talking with your teens about Sexting. The conversation should not be awkward, and most teens do not know the laws and risks associated with it. We hope we help you with this conversation with your teens.
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