‘Sexting’ is a term used for the act of sending sexually suggestive or explicit text messages to someone else. In most instances, the intended recipient is a current or prospective boyfriend or girlfriend.
If the people involved in sexting are under 18, this is illegal. This means that the person can be prosecuted under the Sexual Offences Act 2003.
Cyber Bullying is when someone uses the internet or mobiles to deliberately upset someone else. This type of bullying can take place in the home or at school. It can sometimes be hard to identify the bully as they can block their number or post things on a website anonymously. It is worth keeping copies as proof.
Although bullying is not a specific criminal offence in UK law, criminal and civil laws can apply for example, harassment or threatening behaviour. Particularly relevant for cyber bullying is threatening and menacing communications.
If you know someone who is being cyber bullied or have seen nasty profiles or messages going around it is important that it is reported to the school and if necessary to the police.
Due to your child’s disability they may be more vulnerable to being exploited and abused.
Child Exploitation and Online Protection
The Child Exploitation and Online Protection (CEOP Centre) is dedicated to eradicating the sexual abuse of children. They are part of UK policing and are very much about tracking and bringing offenders to account either directly or in partnership with local and international forces. There is lots of useful information on their website about online safety for both parents and young people.