ISPCC claims sexting 'has become the norm, rather than the exception' for children

There is a warning that "sexting" is becoming the norm for teenage children.

The ISPCC is appearing before an Oireachtas committee to discuss cybersecurity.

The society's director of services, Caroline O'Sullivan, says the risks to children are immense.

She said: "This has become the norm, rather than the exception. The expectation is there that if you are in any kind of a relationship, or if you want any kind of relationship, then you need to actually take photographs of yourself and send them on to the partner.

"And if you don't, then there is something wrong with you.

"And if you do, you can be, as it's called 'slut-shamed'. Then children, when we talk to them about this, they say 'well this is safe sex'."

    The ISPCC outlined a number of specific recommendations to the Committee today to better protect children online

  • The development of a National Cyber Safety Strategy for children
  • The establishment of a Digital Safety Commissioner, as recommended by the Law Reform Commission and as recently referred to by Minister for Communications Action and Climate Change, Denis Naughten
  • Change to promote online and digital safety and to provide oversight of “take-down procedures” operated by online service providers such as social media sites
  • Implement key education measures regarding online behaviour
  • Reform of law and policy regarding children’s cyber safety

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