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For free and confidential advice about sexting, you can get help here. Lots of young people sext, but you should think carefully before you do. The only way to be completely legally safe when sexting is for both people to be over 18, and to consent. Remember that once an image or video is shared, it is very hard to control how it is used after that. See our on image-based abuse for more information. Sexting is not a crime if everyone involved is over 18, and consents. However, you should think carefully before you do, and only sext with someone you trust.
Once an image or video is shared, it is very hard to control how it is used after that. Sharing an intimate or sexy image or a video of someone without their consent is image-based abuse, and it can be a crime. You can check out our on image-based abuse for more information on non-consensual sexting. Remember, just because someone has sent you a sext, it does not automatically mean they consent to the sext being shared with anyone else. People are allowed to change their minds about sexting at any time!
Sexting can be a crime if it involves people under 18, even if they have consented. Under the national law, it is illegal to make, share, request, access or possess images or recordings that are offensive and show a person under 18 or show someone who looks like they are under 18 in a sexual way.
This includes texts or pictures of children and young people who are:. In NSW, it is a crime to possess, make or share child abuse material that shows under the age of Child abuse material can be photos or videos, but also other images like drawings and even cartoons. It also includes pictures that have been photoshopped or digitally altered to make the person look young or naked. Sexting someone under 16 can be a serious crime under the national law. Under NSW law, it is a defence to a charge involving child abuse material if you:. Sexting can also be a form of harassment.
For example, someone might keep bothering you for a naked picture of yourself. Or they might threaten to send a naked picture of you to other people without your permission. Sexting that involves harassment or threats can be a crime, especially if it is done using the internet or your phone. If someone is harassing or threatening you, you can report them to police.
If it is not an emergency, you can call the Police Assistance Line on If you are scared for your safety or in immediate danger, you should call the police on If you commit a crime involving child abuse or child exploitation material, the consequences can be very serious. You could be investigated and charged by the police, and if you are found guilty you could end up with a criminal record or even go to jail. This might make it difficult for you to work in jobs where you have contact with children.
If you are under 18, the chances of you getting into trouble for sexting are lower, especially if you are sexting someone who is around your age with their permission. However, every situation is different. If you might have committed one or more of these crimes and you are contacted by the police, we strongly recommend you get legal advice straight away. For free legal advice, you can .
Most websites, phone companies and social media services have rules that apply to sending, posting or sharing child abuse material or other offensive material. If you break these rules the material could be removed, your may be suspended or closed, or you may even be reported to the police.
If you are worried about a sext someone has sent you, we recommend you:. If you are worried about a nude or sexual picture of you that someone has taken or shared or threatened to take or share , there are things you can do to protect yourself, including:. See our on What can I do if someone has shared or threatened to share my intimate images?
A lawyer can help you work out what you should do, including how to get images removed or deleted if they have been shared or posted online. If you are feeling down, anxious or stressed about the situation, we encourage you to talk to someone you trust like a friend, your parents or another trusted adult. Criminal Code Cth. Crimes Act NSW. Enhancing Online Safety Act Cth. If you have a problem or a question, you can send it to us today and we can provide you with free advice, information and referrals to help solve your problem.
Just click on the button below. The law is different in each state and territory. Please select your state or territory to view legal information that applies to you. Navigate this . Share this article. Date Published February 9, Last Updated February 16, Got a question you can't get answered? Get help now. Select Your State or Territory The law is different in each state and territory.Nsw nudes
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