Sexting is the sending or receiving of sexually explicit or sexually suggestive images or video primarily between mobile phones. Sexting has recently become very popular, and even more important to know...sexting is illegal.
The Law: In the State of Wisconsin, if anyone (including a minor) who creates, distributes or possesses an image of a minor engaged in a sexually explicit activity may be prosecuted under the State's child pornography laws and, if convicted, will generally serve time in jail and need to register as a sex offender.
The Trouble With Sexting
- Because photos can be distributed widely, sexting can ruin reputations and limit one's ability to get into college, join the military or get a desired job.
- Sexting can result in anxiety and depression.
- It is a crime. Federal law makes it illegal to possess, distribute or take sexually explicit images of anyone under 18.
- Information sent via cell phone will be available for as long as 30-50 years.
What can parents and guardians do about sexting?
- Talk to your children about the dangers of sexting.
- Set rules and consequences for breaking them.
- Be aware of what they're posting publicly.
- Know who they're communicating with.
- Learn how to use their cell phone.
- Be aware of sexting shortcuts and acronyms (see link on right under Resources).
What to tell your children about sexting...
- Anything you send or post will not go away.
- Nothing you send or post will remain private. You may intent it to go to one person, but it could be forwarded to others without your knowledge.
- You risk jail time as well as being labeled a sex offender.
- You don't have to give in to pressure from others to do something that makes you uncomfortable.
- Friends who care about you won't want you to get into trouble by sexting.