The Dangers of Sexting
Sexting is practicing the art of prostitution through self-made pornography.
Sexting is sexual exploitation of self, which is used and promoted in prostitution and sex trafficking. Victims of sex trafficking often have their images used to advertise and sell them.
What’s wrong with making a sext or sending nudes?
The image is pornography
Objectifying and sexualizing oneself is the first step of prostitution. If you don’t desire to promote prostitution or be an advocate for sex trafficking, you must not promote pornography or create your own porn, as porn fuels sex trafficking.
Images of pornography assist in the education to objectify others and fuel sex buyers to purchase sex trafficked victims and increases demand for sex trafficking.
Why shouldn’t you sext or send nudes?
The image follows you
Once an image or video is released via text or over the internet, it is out there forever. Even if you think it’s deleted it can reappear.
Screenshots can be taken and shared before the image is deleted.
The image will spread
Most “sexters” are under the false impression that the receiver of the sexting will keep it confidential. Through research we know that this is not true, as sexts are often shared.
The image will damage your reputation
Once the sexualized images are out you can’t get it back, even if you change your mind.
The image can lead to bullying
Unfortunately sexting can and is often used to humiliate the sender. There’s nothing stopping those who receive sexting from publicly displaying them for all to see.
The image can be used to blackmail the victim into sex trafficking
Blackmail is common in the trafficking world, as it lures its victims into acts of sexual exploitation through fear, guilt, and coercion. Many stories of trafficked victims were led into the world of sexual slavery because of blackmail. Never bend to blackmail, no matter the cost. If somebody is blackmailing you, you are now a victim of coercion. Call the authorities and they will protect you, as victimization will get worse.
What else is wrong with sexting?
Underage sexting is illegal
• If a teenager requests, sends, or receives sexually explicit images of a minor, even though they are a minor themselves, they could be charged with a felony under child pornography statutes. Sentences differ from state to state. (1)
It is child porn
• Whether an individual under 18 creates, distributes, forwards, sends, or views child pornography, it is a punishable crime and a potential felony.
Sharing nudes of yourself, your boy/girlfriend, or ex-boy/girlfriend, or anyone else under 18, is considered distribution of child porn. With fines up to $20,000, ten years in prison, and you may have to register as a sex offender.
For example, the Seattle Times reported that last September a 17-year-old was
convicted of sending a photo of himself. The court upheld the teen’s child- pornography charge and requirement that he register as a sex offender — even though the picture he distributed was of himself. (2)
What if parents know about it?
• If parents know that their child (under 18) is sexting and does nothing to stop it and doesn’t try to end the sexting behavior, parents may be charged with contributing to the delinquency of a minor and subject to an investigation by Child Protective Services, which could result in their child being removed from their home and placed in foster care.
How much of this is going on?
According to Fight the New Drug...
• At least 40% of today’s teens admit to being involved in sending and receiving nudes. That is almost half of our children behaving in the beginning acts of prostitution! (3)
Guilty? What NOW?
What do you do if you have images already on your phone?
Delete them! All of them.
In order to move forward and protect yourself, you need to delete everything you have and ask others to do the same. REMOVE them. DELETE them from your iCloud, all messages, devices, and apps.
You might need to delete whole accounts. Digital Forensic Specialist Sgt. John Courtney stated that Snapchat keeps all the images for 60 days. If you have images on there, you will have to delete your account and the app.
What if someone asks for a nude?
Did you know that if someone asks for a nude, they can be changed with sexual harassment? Asking or requesting a nude, sexting image, or pornography is considered sexual harassment. Know your rights, sexual harassment is a crime punishable by law! (4)
Become an Abolitionist and Join Us!
Be determined to be an advocate for trafficking victims and do not promote the things that increase trafficking, like sexually explicit images of oneself or anyone else.
Don’t make pornography, sexting images, or nudes of yourself and don’t accept others.
Ask others to do the same and join you in protecting yourself and others to end exploitation and trafficking.
“To distinguish pornography from prostitution... is to deny the obvious.
When you make pornography of a woman, you make a prostitute out of her...”
Catharine A. MacKinnon (5)
Catharine A. MacKinnon, 2005, Pornography as Trafficking, Michigan Journal of International Law. http://www.prostitutionresearch.com/MacKinnon%20Pornography%20as%20Trafficking.pdf