- According to a JAMA Pediatrics 2018 Study 15% of teens have sent a sext and 27% have received one and these stats are on the rise

- I believe this number is very low. If they had only surveyed teens in a relationship I personally believe from my experience the percentage would be in the 80's or 90's

- Sexting is the electronic sending and receiving of photos and videos that are sexually suggestive or explicit which often contain nudity, sex acts, texted sexual messages or sexting emoji's

- Numerous states have enacted and are proposing sexting laws for minors. In many cases minors can be charged with child pornography or risk having to register as a sex offender

- One of the ugly results of sexting is "Revenge Porn"

- Revenge Porn is the distribution of sexually explicit images or video of individuals without their permission. Usually done out of anger because the relationship ended or done out of manipulation to keep the relationship going. Once images shared online they can circulate on and off line indefinitely

- Revenge Porn is currently illegal in 34 states and the district of Columbia. Lawmakers are already working on legislation to criminalize the act.

- In addition there is a current proposal from the Law Reform Commission advocating to prosecute offenders with up to 7 years of jail time

- Most sexting and revenge porn cases are prosecuted under child abuse statutes, typically under child pornography laws. If your child is involved the consequences can be devastating

- If one of the victims of Revenge Porn presses charges, all parties involved, including any minors who kept these explicit images or videos can be charged with possession and or distribution of child pornography. Worst case scenario, your child can be taken from your home or registered as a sex offender for life

- A recent study out of Norway took a sample of 1000 teens ages 14-17 and found that sexting teens experienced 4X more physical violence as adults. As adults those teens were 2.5X more likely to experience sexual abuse. They were 3.5X more likely to experience psychological violence and are more likely to become a victim of intimate partner violence

- Why is that? Honestly I'm not sure but in my 15 years of ministry with youth I have read posts from teen boys (to be fair its not always the boys) relentlessly harassing a girl to send intimate selfies. The boy persists and manipulates the girl that if she really cared about him she would, or they are in love so its ok and eventually in a weak moment the girl gives in. This behaviour is manipulation and sexual harassment. If a person begins to give in and accept this behaviour than I can see how that may lead to that individual not noticing the warning signs and finding themselves in a manipulative, self serving, unhealthy relationship like those mentioned in the Norway study

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