stop the share

keep nudes out of the wrong hands

A nude is more than just a photo - it's someone's privacy, reputation and future. When nudes of a person under the age of 18 are shared, their entire life is put in someone else's hands. It's not just creepy - it's illegal. It's a form of sexual exploitation and can result in kids having to change schools, being harassed, and can even lead to suicide. But, together, we have the power to change this behaviour. Whether you're a student, a teacher or a parent, we all have a responsibility to do our part and stop the share.

But what can we do about it? Here's a quick guide to the reasons why teens share nudes, what can happen to someone who engages in this behaviour and what we can do to stop it.

the reasons

  • to gain popularity or acceptance amongst friends

  • to be part of on-trend movement or cause

  • to gain likes, friends and followers on social media

  • to get the attention of a potential boy/girlfriend or

  • to show their boy/girlfriend that they love and trust them

the outcomes


  • finding out the person you sent the nude to isn’t who you thought they were (i.e. finding out Jill is actually called Jack)

  • bullying, humiliation and harassment from peers (this can be physical, mental and emotional)

  • isolation from friends, family or peers

  • being labelled as something you’re not

  • suspension or expulsion from school

  • loss of trust from friends, parents, teachers

  • feelings of shame to yourself and family


  • not knowing who in your community has seen the nude

  • conviction, charges, or jail time

  • denial of scholarships, college admissions

  • registry as a sex offender

  • denial of future employment

how to stop it happening in the first place

Having regular conversations with your child about the risks associated with using technology to experiment sexually is very important in increasing the chances of making safer online decisions.

  • Teach your child how to respond if they receive a sext message or a request for a sext message.

  • Inform them of the social and legal issues they may encounter if they take, save or forward the message.

  • Remind them of how easily and quickly images and videos can spread virally.

  • Discuss topics such as healthy relationships and how to spot abusive or controlling behaviours.

  • Discuss peer pressure and how a seemingly innocent sext message can severely affect their life and/or the lives of others.  While your child may be unsure of themselves, explain to them that sexting is not the appropriate way to mature or explore their sexuality.

To help avoid sexting issues, teach your child to respond to unwanted sexts and dangerous solicitations by saying that you regularly monitor their online/cell phone usage. Using real life sexting stories from the media can open up great dialogue so that youth are less likely to be defensive and more open to sharing their own similar situations or concerns.  You can find some of these stories below:

what to do if it happens to you