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Sexual Exploitation Service Manager Discusses Sexting

Tash Bright No Comments

During our Let’s Talk About Sexting campaign, we have been encouraging young people, parents and carers to learn more about sexting and why it occurs at the rates that it does and what the potential risks of sexting could be. Last week we looked at real life instances of young people sexting and the ways it has effected young people’s lives. This week we spoke with Sheffield Futures’ Sheffield Sexual Exploitation Service Manager, Jane Fidler, to better understand how the young people she has worked with view sexting and what can be done to prevent young people from feeling anxious, depressed and in the worst cases, suicidal because of the consequences of sexting.

In part one of our interview with Jane, we look into the reasons young people sext as well as the consequences.

 

Next week we will be speaking to a parent whose child has been involved with sexting

If you have been affected by any aspect of sexting you can get help from the organisations bellow:

Childline – 0800 11 11 or in an online chat athttp://www.childline.org.uk/Talk/Chat/Pages/OnlineChat.aspx

If parents and carers are concerned about their child, they can contact the NSPCC – 0808 800 5000, by emailing help@nspcc.org.uk, or by texting 88858.

They can also ring the Online Safety Helpline by ringing 0808 800 5002.

Revenge Porn Helpline – http://www.revengepornhelpline.org.uk/ or call on 0800 6000 459

Young People from Wordsworth Youth Club Learn New Skills

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Proactive young people who attend Wordsworth Youth Club in Parson Cross took part in a five week project learning how to use a skate board and have graduated with honors. The skateboarding project was a great success, as it engaged the young people in the local area in a fun and informative way. Over 30 young people attended the project funded by Yorkshire Sport that was designed to give young people the chance to learn new skills as well as change attitudes in and around offending behavior including anti-social behavior.

The Finale of the project saw the young people show off their newly developed skills at an indoor session at The House Skate Park. Young people who completed the sessions were invited down to the park where young people were awarded prizes from the Skate Board school for there participation.

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From the 30 young people that took part in regular sessions – six of the young people have signed up for a weekly class run at the indoor skate park “House”. The six young people from the local youth club had never been skating before and thought they would challenge themselves to step outside their comfort zone. Following the project which ended on the 19th August, the young people have signed up and are attending a special class for beginners, according to Nick Mosley from the Skate Board School, the young people are making great progress and learning new skills.

Sheffield Futures joined Paul Blomfield MP for a Big Conversation

Tash Bright No Comments

Members of Sheffield’s Youth Cabinet and UK Youth Parliament joined young people at Sheffield Futures for a Big Conversation with Paul Blomfield MP. The Big Conversation is an annual community consultation with a variety of audiences.

On 22nd September, the Big Conversation came to Sheffield Futures on Division Street for a special event for young people aged 13 – 18. Deputy Member of Youth Parliament and chair of Youth Cabinet, Eleri Kirkpatrick, facilitated the event.

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The conversation tackled big issues such as racism and the school curriculum. One young person said: “We need a more diverse curriculum. Education can be the root of racism as we don’t understand different cultures and their contributions to society”. Other topics included LGBT people, discrimination and mental health. The young people expressed their concerns about how people with mental health issues aren’t taken seriously or considered ill unless they’re suicidal “Mental health is a spectrum. It’s not you’re completely okay or you need to be sectioned. Everyone deserves the opportunity to talk to someone and seek help”.

Eleri Kirkpatrick, Deputy Member of Youth Parliament said: “The Big Conversation is a great way for young people to speak honestly and directly about issues that are important to us with our local MP Paul Blomfield.”

Paul Blomfield MP said: Sex and relationship education, exam pressures, curriculum changes, mental health services are issues for young people. There are lots of issues to raise in Parliament.”

Real Cases of Sexting – The Impacts and Effects

Tash Bright No Comments

So far, our Lets Talk About Sexting campaign has looked into the reasons why young people might sext, the laws around sexting and also the consequences of young people sexting. This week we will focus on real life cases of how sexting has impacted some young people’s live. The range of consequences differs widely and each case and individual is different.

It is important to understand that the law criminalising sexual imagery of young people was created to protect young people from adults and sexual abuse, not criminalise young people. None the less, where police have been notified, the incident will be listed as a ‘crime’ and the young person involved will be a ‘suspect’.

 

A teenage boy added to police database for 'sexting'

In some instances, sexting may have no repercussions or it may be easily resolved between two people. Unfortunately, where sexual imagery of young people is created, stored or distributed, young people could be added to the police database.

A 14-year-old boy in the north of England was added to a police intelligence database last year after sending a naked picture of himself to a female friend. The unnamed teenager was warned that if he ever applies for a job that required advanced criminal record checks, for example if he wanted to work with children, the incident could be “flagged”.

After taking a sexual image of himself, the teenager sent it to a girl he was flirting with via Snapchat. The girl who received the Snapchat message took a screenshot of the image and shared it with her friends. The picture was then brought to the attention of the school.

In this case the boy was seen as the person in the wrong. If both himself and the girl in question were over 18, it would have been the boy who was treated as the victim, as the girl had shared his image without his permission and could be charged under new revenge porn laws. It is important to know how age effects laws.

The boy said he was “embarrassed” by the incident and now spends lunchtimes in the library to avoid being teased by classmates who claim to still have the image. He said: “I shouldn’t have done it. It’s just annoying really, something that I did when I was 14 could reflect badly in future.”

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Teenage girl given police caution for sending explicit selfie to boyfriend

A teenage girl received a police caution after sending sexual imagery of herself to her boyfriend. She sent the image to him from her phone and after they had an argument, he distributed the image to his friends.

The police became involved as the girl was under 18 meaning both parties were committing an offence. The girl was committing an offence because she had taken sexual imagery of herself and shared it and the boy was committing an offence as he distributed the image. He also did it with the intent of causing distress or harm.

Both received a caution but police are now warning other teenagers they could end up on the sex offenders register if they send explicit pictures of themselves via text messages or social media.

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Amanda Todd blackmailed relentlessly by online predator

Worst case scenarios of sexting have led to blackmail, depression and even suicide. Amanda Todd’s name has become synonymous with sexting and cyber bullying and it is probably the most high profile case of sexting to date.

Amanda Todd was a Canadian teenager who suffered at the hands of an online predator and took her life at the age of 15. She created a video explaining her ordeal weeks before she committed suicide. After speaking with a man who had flattered her online she ‘flashed’ him but the man took a picture of her breasts. He asked her to put on another show for him, but she refused. The man then found her classmates on Facebook and sent them the photograph. To cope with the anxiety, Todd descended into drugs and alcohol and ill-advised flirtations and sex. Her classmates ostracised her. She was forced to move school but the images were sent to the new school as well. Amanda suffered from anxiety, major depression and panic attacks and attempted suicide a few times before finally succeeding.

The 38 year old Dutch man who blackmailed and harassed Amanda relentlessly is suspected of blackmailing dozens of young women from the United States into performing sex acts on their web cams. He will be extradited to Canada to face trail after his trial in the Netherlands, which will begin early next year.

 

Alanna regrets getting caught sexting but doesn’t regret the act itself

Alanna McArdle spoke as an adult about how she had enjoyed using webcams as a 13 year old with the boys in her school. She explained how it had helped her explore her sexuality. She had wanted to be sexual and engage in sexual activity but it was the reaction from adults, once the activity became common knowledge amongst parents and teachers, that effected her perception of herself. She says: “I had an arrangement with around five or six boys in my year at school when I was 13 years old. I would log on to MSN Messenger almost immediately after I got home from school”.

Alana’s story is interesting as it uncovers how little is known and understood about childhood sexuality and how we progress into adults and what behaviour may or may not be ordinary or acceptable.

Alanna said: “I walked into school on the first day of Year 9, I knew that everyone knew. My parents knew; the other children’s parents knew; I’m pretty sure that every teacher at my very small school knew…As a semi-beginner’s introduction to double standards, the boys involved escaped any visible punishment in school. They got some pats on the back from their peers. I, on the other hand, was a slut… The boys around me were expected to be sexual. But my own desires and enjoyment? They were unacceptable.”

Alanna’s case mirrors a common situation in which young girls often face harsher social consequences than boys for sexting. NSPCC research discovered that sexism was normalised for contexts for all relationships on and off line meaning girls consistently received consistently higher rates of bullying, scrutiny, violence and blackmail for sending pictures than boys, who were often praised and got ‘ratings’ from their peers for receiving nude pictures from girls.

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17 year old boy labelled a pervert

James, a 17 year old teenager who called Childline, was labelled a pervert after he sent a sexually explicit video to his girlfriend. He said: “My friends and I talk very openly about sexting, our experiences within our relationships, and the sort of things we’ve sent each other. So it can seem like everyone’s doing it.”

The fact that sexting has become somewhat normal within our society can often lead young people to underestimating the risks that could occur. James said: “There are definitely risks involved. Someone saw a video message I had sent to a previous girlfriend, took a screen shot and posted it online. They called me a pervert and lots of people I knew saw it – it was clearly me pictured.”

Once an image or text has been sent, it cannot be unsent. It is easy to lose control of an image as you cannot guarantee where it will end up and who will see it. This can lead young people (and adults) to feeling a severe humiliation and a sense that things have spiralled out of their control. James said: “I was completely devastated and, to be honest, almost suicidal. I got the picture taken down eventually, but by that stage people had ‘unfriended’ me and the damage was done.”

 

It is always important to think before you send a text or image of the consequence that could ensue. How would you feel if your parent saw the picture, or your teachers and classmates. Think of the cases above and how it affected these young people’s lives.

 

Next week we will be speaking to a child exploitation expert about sexting

If you have been affected by any aspect of sexting you can get help from the organisations bellow:

Childline – 0800 11 11 or in an online chat athttp://www.childline.org.uk/Talk/Chat/Pages/OnlineChat.aspx

If parents and carers are concerned about their child, they can contact the NSPCC – 0808 800 5000, by emailing help@nspcc.org.uk, or by texting 88858.

They can also ring the Online Safety Helpline by ringing 0808 800 5002.

Revenge Porn Helpline – http://www.revengepornhelpline.org.uk/ or call on 0800 6000 459

What Are the Risks of Young People Sexting?

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When talking about the risks of sexting, it is often assumed that young people do not know the consequences of sharing sexual imagery. Findings from SPIRTO have shown that many young people do know the risks and try to manage these risks by leaving their face out of pictures or using apps like Snapchat.

This week, our Let’s Talk About Sexting Campaign looks into the consequences of sexting and how gender often plays a role in how young people are treated once it has been discovered they have sent sexual imagery.

There are many reasons why young people might sext, which we looked in to last week. Young people may start sending ‘nude pics’ as a way of boosting their self-esteem. They could be pressured into sending pictures or young people may sext as a way of exploring their sexuality as part of their natural curiosity about sex.

It is important to remember that even though looking into the consequences of sexting may be shocking, it is important not to jump to conclusions and judge young people harshly if it has been discovered they have sent sexual images. It is often detrimental to punish young people for sexting, as it acts to deter young people from sharing issues they may be facing and seeking help. The aim of looking into the consequences of sexting is to raise awareness of the risks and legalities that could occur, with the main aim being protecting young people from child abuse

1. Loss of Control

In this digital age we live in, it is easy to quickly share our experiences and detail our lives through pictures via social media. Unfortunately, once a picture has been sent you cannot be sure where it may end up. This is especially important to consider before sending sexual imagery, because once an image has been shared, things can quickly spiral out of control and the young person may no longer know who their picture might have been forwarded to. Digital footprints are notoriously hard to erase.

Young people that have had negative experiences with sexting often talk about the feeling of losing control and things quickly escalating to the point where they felt overwhelmed. This sense of despair was detrimental to their health and well-being and in some cases led to feelings of anxiety, depression, self-harm and in the worst cases – suicide.

It is important that young people contemplate how they might feel if the picture they are considering sending was seen by their classmates, shared on Facebook or seen by their parents.

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2.Sexting and Sexism

Research conducted NSPCC found that culturally pervasive sexist beliefs were rampant in secondary schools and acted as the backdrop in which sexting took place. The discovery that sexism was normalised for contexts for all relationships on and off line meant that girls consistently received harsher consequences (bullying, scrutiny, violence, blackmail) for sending pictures than boys, who were often praised and got ‘ratings’ from their peers for receiving nude pics from girls. The potential of new technology has added another way in which young people can achieve status with their peers. The sharing of images has been linked to young people, usually young men, vying for power within their peer group and using others, usually young women’s images as the means to do that.

As recent as this month, MPs across the country have begun recognising the need for increased awareness and education in schools addressing sexism that views women as objects of male desire and labels girls/women negatively whilst praising boys for the same behaviour. The same research showed that even when girls refused to participate in the sending of photos, this did not mean they were safe from the implications of this practice and routine forms of sexism. Boys who do not engage in getting ‘ratings’ from their peers for receiving pictures from girls were at risk of being labelled gay or anti-sex, while girls are bullied for being virgins if they don’t engage in sexting and ‘slut shamed’ when they do.

MP, Maria Miller stated this month; ‘It is difficult to explain why any school would allow girls to be subjected to sexual harassment and violent behaviour that has been outlawed in the adult workplace…Failing to reinforce what is acceptable behaviour could well be fuelling the ‘Lad Culture’ that the Government has already identified as a problem in colleges and universities.’

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3. Vulnerable to Blackmail

There are offenders that seek out sexual images of children and young people and they can be highly manipulative. They can use fear and blackmail or make the young person feel guilty, worthless or that they haven’t  got a choice. Whether young people send images of themselves to strangers or people they know, there is no guarantee where the pictures will end up. Once an offender has a picture of a young person, they may try to persuade them to send sexual images by saying they will be hurt or upset if the young person refuses. They may then continue to blackmail the young person into sending even more explicit pictures by threatening to post their images online or show them to people the young person knows (school/family) if they don’t send them more.

“What we’re seeing is abusers taking advantage and getting images out of young people and then blackmailing them for more by saying, ‘If you don’t do more for me, I’ll send these to your family and friends,'” Ceop’s head of education, Jonathan Baggaley, said.

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4. It is Illegal

It is illegal to produce, store or share sexual imagery of anyone under the age of 18, even if you are the person in the picture. It is important to keep in mind that though the age of sexual consent is 16, sending sexual imagery of anyone under 18 is illegal. The law criminalising indecent images of children was created to protect young people from adults and sexual abuse. It was not intended to criminalise children. None the less, where police have been notified, the incident will be listed as a ‘crime’ and the young person involved will be a ‘suspect’. Outcome 21 was created specifically for such cases and helps to formalise the discretion available to police when handling crimes such as youth produced content.

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5. Pictures Could be Uploaded on to Porn Websites

Once something has been sent, it cannot be unsent. Pictures and text are easily shared, especially when people are in trusting relationships. It is important for young people to understand that relationships may end and the once trusted partner may use the same pictures to humiliate them. There are whole websites dedicated to this act known as revenge porn. Pictures of sexually graphic content of the individual may have immediate consequences, such as images being uploaded and shared on porn websites for all to see or even going viral and becoming public knowledge to people at their school. In comparison, pictures that have been sent may resurface years later and effect job opportunities in the future and relationships in later life, so think before you send.

 

Next week we will be looking into real life instances where sexting has taken place and what the outcomes were.

 

If you have been affected by any aspect of sexting you can get help from the organisations bellow:

Childline – 0800 11 11 or in an online chat athttp://www.childline.org.uk/Talk/Chat/Pages/OnlineChat.aspx

If parents and carers are concerned about their child, they can contact the NSPCC – 0808 800 5000, by emailing help@nspcc.org.uk, or by texting 88858.

They can also ring the Online Safety Helpline by ringing 0808 800 5002.

Revenge Porn Helpline – http://www.revengepornhelpline.org.uk/ or call on 0800 6000 459

Why Young People Sext

Tash Bright No Comments

This week our Lets Talk About Sexting campaign takes a look into some of the reasons why young people sext. This campaign aims to raise awareness around the growing concern of young people sexting in order to prevent some unpleasant consequences. Last week we looked into the laws surrounding sexting, which is a good place to start if you are unsure of the  legalities surrounding sexually suggestive images.

Even though young people sexting has quickly become a major concern for teachers, parents/carers and young people themselves, it is important to note that NSPCC research has found that most young people are not sharing sexual imagery of themselves. Despite this, the same research found that over 13% of boys and girls had taken topless pictures of themselves (one in four of those were girls) and 3% had taken fully naked pictures. Out of this group 31% had also shared the image with someone that they did not know.

Research conducted by The Key discovered that school head teacher members placed sexting as a concern higher than drugs, obesity and offline bullying. Similarly, the PSHE Association found that 78% of parents were either fairly concerned or very concerned about youth produced sexual imagery.

With so many people concerned about young people sexting, it is important to look into why young people sext in the first place, so we can better understand what methods may help to reduce the negative consequence that can ensue.

1. Curiosity

Sexting is often the result of young people’s natural curiosity about sex. As young people start taking risks and pushing boundaries as they become more sexually and socially aware, they may produce or share sexual imagery without fully understanding the consequences of what they are doing. Difficulties in defining harmful sexual behaviours displayed by young people are made worse by the general lack of knowledge of childhood sexuality and what constitutes normal behaviour.

In research conducted by Spirto, the majority of young people knew the risks of sexting and they tried to manage these risks by excluding their faces in the images.

Whilst there is no doubt that the online world has created opportunities for young people to explore, experiment, socialise, create and educate themselves in ways which were previously unavailable, it has also exposed young people to the risk of harm, including  from seeing extreme pornography and from sexting.

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2. Enhancing Relationships

As young people begin entering into romantic/sexual relationships, they may use sexting as a way of exploring and enhancing their relationship. The instant validation and affirmation that is felt when the messages are received positively is seen as a fun form of flirting and encourages more of the same behaviour.

In cases where consent has been given by both parties, the young people see fewer risks of sharing sexually suggestive images. This is especially the case where the young people trust each other and think they will be with that person forever. Unfortunately, if the relationship ends, the same explicit messages that were shared in confidence are often shared with others in contempt.

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3. Having a Laugh

Young people may send each other sexually suggestive pictures as a joke. This could be between friends on apps like Whatsapp or Snapchap. Snapchat is particularly interesting, as it very popular with young people. The common belief with Snapchat is that images/videos you take and upload only stay up for a certain amount of time, then are deleted. This is no longer the case, as most smartphones now have a ‘screenshot’ function, meaning the images can be captured by the recipient. After this, the sender has no control of where the image may end up.

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4. Feeling Pressured

Recognising a distinction between young people who willingly seek to make and send sexual images and those who feel some element of coercion is important within gender debates. NSPCC research has shown that girls are effected at a higher rate than boys regarding being pressured or coerced into sending sexual messages. They may find it difficult to say no if somebody asks them for an explicit image, especially if the person asking is persistent.

There is evidence that girls may have more negative sexting experiences, with the potential for partner and peer pressure to make and send images, and the need to negotiate the social and cultural double standards of female sexual reputation if their activities are made public.

Young boys are more likely to feel peer pressure in regards to obtaining sexual images of girls. In the same NSPCC research, boys explained in interviews about how they got ratings for being brave, having money and ‘getting girls’ and were worried about their sexuality being brought into question if they did not follow the group’s actions.

For young people, the ‘stranger danger’ is not the primary technology related threat – it is technology mediated sexual pressure from their peers. Pressures that young people may encounter regarding sending sexually suggestive images can quickly escalate into feeling harassed, threatened or blackmailed into sending pictures.

 

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5. Boosts Self-esteem

For many young people, it is often the case that pictures are produced and shared in the means of boosting their self-esteem. Sending pictures can be can be associated with compliments and affirmation about looking good.

The multi-layered nature of sexual interactions means that sexting has many dimensions and complexities. If a young person is sharing sexual imagery with multiple people, this could be an indication that there are other issues that they need support with.

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6. It's Normal

Young people may express the belief that sexting is normal, to the point that if you are in a relationship, it would be weird not to. This point of view is reaffirmed by sexting cases consistently cropping up in the media, as well celebrities saying things like ‘It’s ok to send things as long as you cover your face.’

Issues around female sexting are often linked to broader moral concerns about the sexualisation of girls within popular culture and the pressures they face to live up to gendered sexual ideals.

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If you have been affected by any aspect of sexting you can get help from the organisations bellow:

Childline – 0800 11 11 or in an online chat athttp://www.childline.org.uk/Talk/Chat/Pages/OnlineChat.aspx

If parents and carers are concerned about their child, they can contact the NSPCC – 0808 800 5000, by emailing help@nspcc.org.uk, or by texting 88858.

They can also ring the Online Safety Helpline by ringing 0808 800 5002.

 

Here are some great resources to find out more about the issues surrounding sexting.

 

 

Self Raising: Fundraising and Baking

Tash Bright No Comments

Last week saw some Sheffield Futures staff donning their chef hats and baking sweet treats for our Dambuskers event that helped raise money to keep our Get on Track programme running.

The Get On Track programme is a mentoring programme led by world-class athletes and spearheaded by the Dame Kelly Trust. Aimed at young people aged between 16-25, the programme helps improve the communication, teamwork, confidence and health and well-being of the young people involved. So far 70% of young people who have taken part in Get On Track have moved into employment, education or training within five months.

The Dambuskers event, held at Dam House last Saturday, was a great success with amazing live acts, special guests, as well as outdoor BBQs, a cake sale, games and a raffle. The event raised a whopping £362.22 and to celebrate this achievement, we will be sharing one of our favourite cupcake recipes from the event, as it went down a treat! The courgette cake recipe is a Nigella Lawson original but, in my opinion, was perfected by our very own Sheffield Futures’ staff member Viky. The courgettes for the cupcakes were grown in her allotment! You can also see more pictures from the Dambuskers event below.

 

Courgette Cake

Cake Ingredients:

60g Raisins

50g Chopped Walnuts

250g Courgettes (weighed before grating)

2 Large Eggs

125ml Vegetable Oil

150g Caster Sugar

225g Self-Raising Flour

½ tsp Bicarbonate of Soda

½ tsp Baking Powder

Filling:

Lemon Curd

 

STEP 1

Preheat oven to 180C / Gas Mark 4. Put the Kettle on and make yourself a cup of tea.

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STEP 2

Pour some hot water from kettle on to the raisins to make them juicier.

 

STEP 3

Grate the courgettes and remove excess water by sieving.

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STEP 4

Cream eggs, oil and sugar together in a bowl

 

STEP 5

Sieve in the flour, bicarb, baking powder until well combined

 

STEP 6

Stir in the courgette, drained raisins, and walnuts.

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STEP 7

Split Mixture across 2 greased 21cm cake tins and bake for 30minutes.

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STEP 8

Cool on a rack while making the icing.

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Here are some more pictures from the Dambuskers event.

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Lets Talk About Sexting

Tash Bright No Comments

Today, Sheffield Futures launches our new campaign, ‘Let’s Talk About Sexting’, to address the issues young people face regarding sexting and how we can prevent the often devastating consequences. Each week Sheffield Futures will be focusing on a specific issue surrounding sexting beginning with the legalities concerning sexting, so that you can protect yourself and your loved ones.

Sharing photos and videos online is part of daily life. The availability and convenience of apps such as Snapchat, Whatsapp, Facebook, Instgram and Skype means that we are always increasing our digital footprint, which is notoriously hard to erase.

Currently 90% of 16-24 year olds and 69% of 12-15 year olds own a smartphone meaning more people than ever have the ability to quickly and easily record their lives and share experiences. With this is mind, it is important that you know the ins and outs of the laws surrounding sexting.

What is Sexting?

Sexting is defined as sending or posting sexually suggestive texts/images. People may have told you that sending ‘indecent’ imagery under the age of 18 is illegal. This created confusion because whether something is ‘decent’ can be dependent on the situation and may be different depending on the values of who you are speaking to. For this reason, the word ‘indecent’ has been replaced with ‘sexual’.

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At What Age is Sexting Illegal?

Even though the age of sexual consent is 16, it is illegal to produce, store or share sexual imagery of anyone under the age of 18.consent 16

What if I have taken a Sexual Image of Myself?

Whether you are the person in the picture or not does not make a difference when it comes to the law. Anyone under the age of 18 who takes a sexual selfie risks being prosecuted for creating child pornography.

 

What if I am under 18 but am in a relationship and sent a picture to my boyfriend/girlfriend?

In this case, both you and your partner are breaking the law, even if your partner didn’t ask for the picture. Possessing images of a young person under the age of 18 is illegal, even when both of you are under 18.

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I received a sexual image of someone under the age of 18. Can I share it with friends?

Even if you had nothing to do with the creation of the image, sharing such imagery is still breaking the law. Depending on the intent and malice in which the images were shared, will depend on the severity of the consequences.

Will I get a criminal record if I am found to be making, possessing or distributing imagery of anyone under 18?

The law criminalising indecent images of children was created to protect young people from adults and sexual abuse. It was not intended to criminalise children. None the less, where police have been notified, the incident will be listed as a ‘crime’ and the young person involved will be a ‘suspect’. Outcome 21 was created specifically for such cases and helps to formalise the discretion available to police when handling crimes such as youth produced content.

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Next week we will be focusing on why young people send sexual imagery.

 

If you are a young person who has been affected by sexting or are a parent or carer of a young person involved in sexting, you can contact the below helplines:

Childline – 0800 11 11 or in an online chat athttp://www.childline.org.uk/Talk/Chat/Pages/OnlineChat.aspx

If parents and carers are concerned about their child, they can contact the NSPCC Helpline by ringing 0808 800 5000, by emailing help@nspcc.org.uk, or by texting 88858. They can also ring the Online Safety Helpline by ringing 0808 800 5002.

The NSPCC has information and advice about sexting available on its website: https://www.nspcc.org.uk/preventing-abuse/keeping-children-safe/sexting/1

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5 Steps To Deal With Back-to-School Stress

Tash Bright No Comments

If you are one of the many young people that have gone back to school today, then I hope you had a great first day! It can be daunting heading back to school after the summer holidays, which can lead to stress and anxiety but we’re here to help. Here’s 5 steps to help you cope with returning to school.

Step 1   Look after yourself:

Sometimes we often forget abut the importance of the basics. Are you getting enough sleep, eating regular meals and healthy snacks. It hard to focus on anything if you’re exhausted and running on an empty tank.

 

Step 2   Talk to Someone:

Ever heard the saying a problem shared is a problem halved. If you’re worried, a good way to rationalize things is to sometimes get it out in the open and share your worries with someone you can trust – perhaps a best friend or a parent.

 

Step 3   Problem solve:

You could write a list of all the things that are worrying you about going back to school and start developing ways you can cope with each of these worries. It’s sometimes best to do this with someone you trust, as they may be able to give you a different perspective on the worst case scenarios you are imaging might happen. For example, If (the worst) happens, what could you do?” or “Let’s think of some ways you could handle that situation.”

 

Step 4   Focus on the positives: 

You should always try and think of positive aspects of returning to school because there may be more than you think. What are three things you are most excited about?

 

Step 5   Get support:

It’s great if you have your own support system but remember there are always people who are here to help. As well as parents and friends – you can contact our team at Sheffield Futures to have a chat about how we can help you.

 

Looking to the Future After GCSE results

Tash Bright No Comments

If you are one of the many young people who received their GCSE results today, congratulations on completing what can be a daunting step. The anticipation of results day can stressful to say the least, especially if you need to obtain certain results to move on to the next stage of your life, such as college.

Sheffield Futures is here to help you. We particularly want to support young people who may feel panicked, as they didn’t get the results they wanted. There are definitely alternative ways in which you can reach your full potential, so know that it is not the end of the world. In fact, there are so many routes to success these days and some may suit you more than the traditional routes you initially pursued.

Here at Sheffield Futures our specialist Careers Advisor are happy to chat with you and listen to your ideas or worries about your future and employment. Our Careers Advisors have the experience to guide you through what options may be available, as well as what may suit your skills and ambitions.

Sheffield Futures can discuss anything from apprenticeships to job hunting with you, as well as going through benefits advice for under 18 year olds.

Call into Star House any weekday between these times: Mon – Thurs: 9am-5pm; and Fri: 10am-4.30pm.

How you can help

Our charity is dedicated to helping Sheffield's young people to reach their full potential and achieve the best out of life, whatever their starting point. To help us to do more to support young people and communities we need your help. Just remember, every penny you donate will make a difference.