Today, the National Crime Agency, has launched a campaign for parents to deal with an increase in young people sharing nude selfies.
The Agency’s Child Exploitation and Online Protection Centre (CEOP) said it receives on average one report a day of a child protection issue linked to sexting.
As Zoe Hilton, Head of Safeguarding at CEOP Command, said staff received hundreds of reports a year of "difficult and sometimes harmful" situations linked to sexting.
"We are talking about cases where sexting has led to a child protection issue," she said.
"Something that has started out as relatively innocent or normal for the young people involved has unfortunately turned into something that is quite nasty and needs intervention in order to safeguard and protect the child. Some of the worst examples are children sharing images of themselves and making themselves very vulnerable," she added.
To give parents the tools to deal with these issues and reduce the dangers of sexting, CEOP have created a series of short animations entitled ‘Nude selfies: What parents and carers need to know’. The new Thinkuknow films are packed with information and advice on helping parents to advise children about avoiding taking risks online, knowing what’s safe and what’s not, and where to get help if anything goes wrong.
Posing the questions: Why do young people share nude selfies? Would you know how to discuss them your children? The new series of animated films help parents, carers or teachers to answer these questions. As Zoe Hilton continues “We want to help parents and carers talk to their children about how to minimise the risks, and to make sure the right support is there if things do go wrong."
The four films, which are available to watch for free online, cover the following issues:
- Film 1: Helps parents and carers understand the reasons why young people create and share nude or nearly nude images.
- Film 2: Helps parents and carers learn about effective strategies for talking to your child about nude or nearly nude images.
- Film 3: Helps parents and carers understand how to respond if your child discloses that they have shared nude or nearly nude images by risk assessing the different contexts in which images may be shared.
- Film 4: Helps parents and carers learn about how to get help and support if your child shares nude or nearly nude images.
If you’re a teacher or trainer, you can download the animations and accompanying guidance pack which will provide you with everything you need to deliver a session with families from www.thinkuknow.co.uk/teachers