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NSPCC issues advice guide to ‘sexting’ risks, after spike in cases

The charity has insisted that parents MUST talk to their kids about sexting, after publishing concerning new statistics


A study of 1,000 parents and carers conducted by the group revealed that nearly 6 in 10 have never discussed sexting with their children, despite 73% believing it to be a harmful issue.

The group also revealed that the number of children counselled by Childline about sexting has increased by 1,400 in the last year, up 15% on previous figures.

One in four of those surveyed revealed their most common fear was that a child would lose control of explicit photos of themselves.

Very few parents believe their child has sent a sexual image or video, but around two-fifths are concerned they could get involved in sexting in the future.

Two out of five parents said they had spoken to their child about sexting at least once, but 19% said they had no intention of doing so, while 39% said they had not but intended to.

NSPCC chief executive Peter Wanless has warned that sharing nude selfies can put young people at risk of bullying or being targeted by paedophiles.

“It’s vital that parents talk to their children and that young people feel empowered to say no to sexting requests. We realise that talking about sexting can be an embarrassing or awkward conversation for both parents and children.”

He added, “although most parents said they would seek help if an indecent image of their child had been shared on the internet, half of them weren’t confident about getting the right support.”

The NSPCC encouraged parents who have discovered that their child has been sharing sexual images of themselves to stay calm and ask who the image has been sent to and where it has been shared, as well as encouraging them to delete images from their phone or own social media accounts.

Other action that should be taken by parents include contacting the site hosting the images of their child, and suggesting the child contacts Childline, who can work with the Internet Watch Foundation to try and get images removed if they have been shared more widely.

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