Recent reports (The West Australian, Saturday 12 August 2023) of a rise in sex texts being exchanged at across Western Australian schools comes as no surprise. We at Criminal Lawyers Perth receive several calls a month from worried parents, mostly with sons, distressed that their sons have received explicit images from 11 to – 15 year old girls from their school.
The boys that we have spoken to did not request the images. They did not report the images to their parents – for no other reason than embarrassment or school authorities for fear of reprisals from the very girls that shared the images.
Child Exploitation Material Is A Criminal Offence
When the practice involves underage children Child Exploitation Material (CEM) is a criminal offence. For example taking an explicit photograph of a child is regarded as production of CEM, having an explicit photograph of a child stored in a smartphone or an electronic device amounts to possession of CEM, and sending or even showing explicit images of a child to one or more 3 rd parties can amount to distribution of CEM.
In our direct experience, the pressures on the 11 to 15 year old school girls to pose nude or in scant attire is driven by so called Influencers and the various social media platforms upon which they lurk . We learn of this from either the girls who have shared sexualised images of themselves and the sisters of the boys who have received said images.
More Police Action
The article referred to above calls on government to enforce laws to stem the spread of nude images of their daughters around campus. CEM laws are in place and an offender adult or child can find themselves in prison. In terms of enforcement schools already have mandatory reporting obligations in place. And WA Police have specialised child sex assault squads scattered across the metropolitan area. Police also visit schools to talk about online safety. To stop CEM production must stop then there will be nothing to circulate.
If you are concerned that your children have been exposed to CEM telephone Criminal Lawyers Perth on 0422 656 589 for a free confidential telephone advice.
NB – among the 11-15 year old age group we receive very few calls of boys taking the explicit photo. Our experience tends to show that this is the case in older age groups under the banner of revenge porn.