Sexting.be - A holistic approach to sexting

  • Awareness
  • 26/01/2018
  • Belgian Safer Internet Centre

In Belgium, Child Focus, Sensoa, Jong & Van Zin, Mediawijs and O'kontreir have joined forces to address the issues surrounding sexting, especially in case of 'sexting gone wrong'. The result? Sexting.be, an online portal for everyone who has questions about sexting.

In recent years sexting has become a rather 'hot topic' both on and offline having often been in the spotlight for negative reasons. When done voluntarily and consensually, sexting in itself is by no means negative, and it is considered to be a normal part of young people's sexual development and exploration of their own sexuality, desires and boundaries. If the basic condition of mutual trust among participants to the act of sexting is broken, things can very easily go awry with very grave consequences.

Sexting.be offers new research, insights, tips and tools surrounding the topic of sexting. Schools, individual teachers and scholars are offered specific and interesting tools in order to help them tackle secondary sexting in their classrooms.

For schools, we developed a policy enhancing tool called ‘Let's talk about sexting' which allows them to develop a tailor-made policy to prevent sexting from going wrong, as well as helping them handle it when it does go wrong. Teachers can use the lesson plan called ‘Sexting@School', which allows them to discuss sexting, online media and sexuality with their students. Teachers in secondary education can use this tool to reflect together with their class on issues such as: 

  • what kind of photos can be shared with others,
  • what the right to be forgotten is
  • respect / empathy / trust / intimacy and integrity
  • advice on how to sext safely

Discussing sexuality with teenagers can sometimes prove tricky if they are asked to talk about it with adults and not peers, which is why Sexting.be also includes a tool only for them: the SEXTMACHINE Chatbot . This Facebook Messenger chatbot empowers young people and helps them deal with sexting situations in their own language, teaching them:

  • how to say 'no' when they don't feel comfortable with sending nude pictures,
  • how to sext in a safe manner
  • how to react when they receive a sext that wasn't meant for them in the first place

Explore the Sexting.be resource on the Better internet for Kids (BIK) portal and find out more about the work of the Belgian Safer Internet Centre, including its awareness raising, helpline, hotline and youth participation services on our website.

 


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