Sexting is causing young people to become highly distressed when they thought they had lost control of an intimate picture of themselves.
One case study provided by Kids Helpline is of a 13-year-old called Bonnie, who rang the line reporting that she wanted to end her life. Bonnie told the counsellors she had sent a couple of pictures of herself with her breasts exposed to a 15-year-old boy. The boy told her he would post the pictures on Facebook and send them to her parents if she didn’t have sex with him.
Anxiety, avoiding school and even suicidal thoughts – these are some of the consequences of teen sexting.
Vicki Ogilvie, who manages a team of youth support counsellors in Queensland schools, agrees that sexting and cyber-bullying were triggering serious mental health problems.
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