Schoolchildren learn of ‘sexting’ dangers

Young people across Derry and Strabane are taking part in the project.

Young people across Derry and Strabane are taking part in the project.

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Young people in Derry and Strabane have been working on a new campaign to raise awareness of the risks of sending explicit text messages.

Derry and Strabane Policing and Community Safety Partnership are delivering the new programme which examines the impact of ‘sexting’ , in partnership with the Western Domestic and Sexual Violence Partnership.

The campaign has been launched as part of Sexual Abuse/Sexual Violence Week and highlights the message “#itsnotokay”.

Students were asked to consider the impact of sending sexual texts, and one of the key warnings is the lack of control they have over any intimate content which is sent by social media.

Policing and Community Safety Partnership Chairperson, Councillor Gus Hastings, said:

“The campaign seeks to highlight how vulnerable people are once they engage in this type of behaviour and to drive home the message that any content intended for friends can very easily be circulated to a much wider audience of strangers.

“This can have devastating consequences, and leave young people vulnerable and at risk.”

Organisers say they hope that by educating young people over these issues it will raise awareness about the implications of circulating inappropriate material, not only for themselves but also for their family.

As part of this initiative, the PCSP has provided resources to schools. These include bespoke screen wipes for mobile phones which have the contact details for a number of support organisations.