10-Year-Olds In Oz Indulging In Sexting

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   (2012-06-25 00:00:00)

Melbourne,: Australian kids as young as 10 are experimenting with 'sexting', a leading charity has warned.

'BoysTown', which runs the Kids Help line counselling service, insisted that sexting-related awareness and education campaigns should target children and young people aged 10 to 18, the Daily Telegraph reported.

Almost 500 young people across Australia contacted the service with sexting-related concerns between January and March this year, and more than 75 per cent were female.

Shockingly, counselling sessions tended to be with people aged under 19, and one in three were aged 10 to 14 years.

"When sexting behaviour gets out of hand or, more specifically, sext images get into undesirable hands, the impacts of sexting can be multi-faceted and extreme," said its submission to the Victorian Law Reform Committee's inquiry into sexting.

"Young people can find themselves the victims of humiliation, bullying, harassment, threat, punishment and criminalisation."

Melbourne's Royal Children's Hospital Gatehouse Centre for assessment and treatment of child abuse revealed that it had observed a marked increase in the age range of participants, with some as young as 10 years.

Sexting has legal consequences in case if the person involved is less than 18 years because it can be considered child pornography.

Cyber-safety campaigner Nina Funnell has insisted that young people needed to be taught the ethical use of technology and how to preserve their own and others' reputations.