'Sexting' putting girls at risk of bullying and sexual abuse


Young school girls who send explicit photographs of themselves by text message are putting themselves in danger of bullying and sexual abuse, child safety experts have warned.

'Sexting' will be debated by MPs later as charities warn the practice is a growing problem in Britain's schools.

Jon Brown, the head of the NSPCC's Sexual Abuse programme says sexting is putting children at risk.

"We have unearthed a lot of evidence that girls as young as 12 are being pressured into sending explicit photographs to boyfriends," the Sky News quoted him as saying.

"Once they have given someone a 'sexy' picture of themselves, they have no control over it," he added.

According to the Child Exploitation and Online Protection Centre, 38 per cent of 11-17 year olds said they had received a sexually explicit text or email and 70 per cent of them knew the sender.

MP Ann Coffey, who is raising the dangers of sexting in an adjournment debate, said she is being asked for help from up to two schools a week.

"The most important thing is for young people themselves to be aware of the dangers," she said.

"I am asking the phone companies to provide finance so that at the point of sale they will get a leaflet saying you need to be aware if you upload images this is what can happen," she added.

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