Case Study: Emily’s Sexting Snapshot

Teenager Emily had been in a relationship with her boyfriend Tommy for a few months when he asked her to send him some sexual photographs. Emily trusted Tommy and sent him a sexual photo of herself.

After they had an argument, Tommy sent the photo to a member of her family and posted it on Facebook, tagging her in it so that all of her friends could see. She was bullied at school because of it and lots of rumours about her started to circulate.

She had to leave school and lost a lot of her friends because of it. Her relationship with her family also suffered. It was reported to the police and Tommy received a warning. Tommy took the photo down but it had already been spread widely.

Emily thought it was all her fault and she was devastated by what had happened. She was referred to the NSPCC’s Protect and Respect programme to learn how to keep herself safe from sexual exploitation.

Nicky from the NSPCC taught her how to protect herself online, and helped her understand what is safe and what is unsafe to share online. Emily learnt about safe and healthy relationships and how she should be treated by a boyfriend. Nicky helped to build up her self-esteem which had been affected by people’s adverse reaction to the video. Nicky also carried out some preventative work to teach her about sexual exploitation and grooming and helped her see how drugs and alcohol could affect her decisions.