Sexting Reality Check for Teens

By: 10/11 News Email
By: 10/11 News Email

Every year the Child Advocacy Center offers support for children who experience serious physical and sexual abuse.

In 2011, Child Advocacy Center, with the help of law enforcement, helped more than 1000 child victims.

For many of the victims of sexual abuse, the crime started with the help of technology.

Graphic photos and sexual content are passed from student to student through cell phones and other devices.

While some parents might not be aware of the threat, some teens at Lincoln High certainly do.

"If they knew that, if they knew, like exactly what could happen then that might affect them doing it," said Lincoln High School student Andi Manakdan.

It's a crime for an adult to solicit sex from a child, but teens sharing explicit photos of themselves can be just as illegal and emotionally devastating.

"I think a lot of people are uneducated about the legal ramifications that come with sexting or sexual harassment through multimedia," said Lincoln High graduate, Wesley VanHoosen.

Nebraska State Patrol Sergeant Eric Jones tries to tracks and catch people committing sex crimes using multimedia, even if that person is your average high school student.

"I don't like the term sexting.That glorifies it," said Sergeant Jones.

He added, "I think that children are desensitized to it. More now than they ever were."

Students at Lincoln High tell 1011 News it's rare if ever a classmate takes sexting seriously.

"You walk around in the hallways and just be going to your locker and people would be like, oh did you see that picture of so and so on that, 'oh I'd hit that.' I would kind of like say, really," said Manakdan.

One nude picture and create hundreds of problems.

"You hear about pictures being sent and like they break up and then some other guy, like your friend, will get the picture," said Manakdan.

"More and more you hear about how it can prevent you from getting a job. Stuff you post on facebook or twitter or texting," said VanHoosen.

Whether it's just for fun or between boyfriend and girlfriend, it can still hurt someone emotionally and even be a crime.

"What kids don't understand is that once they hit the send button on that image, and they think that it is just going to that boyfriend or girlfriend, they lose control of it," said Sergeant Jones.

Friday, April 25 the Child Advocacy Center will kick off a summer concert series called "Friday Nights Live" aimed at raising funds for the center.

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