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Certainly sextortion can also involve a violation of trust, as with “aggravated sexting,” exploiting emotional vulnerability.

You can do a Web search for “legal aid” or “legal assistance” in your town or city. If you have a case and after getting legal advice about gathering evidence and making sure there’s enough evidence for a case, requesting that any photos in a Web site be taken down – through the site’s abuse-reporting system.

* Going to the police or other law enforcement in your location and filing a report. Advice for parents Even when they’re being threatened, young people are often reluctant to tell even trusted adults about sexting or sextortion issues, for any number of reasons.

* Sexting as an act of anger, revenge or other social aggression.

This kind of sexting can start out consensual but go very wrong – and harmful.

If you’re under age 18, child sexual exploitation and child pornography law can also come into play.

Careful thought needs to go into the handling of cases involving minors because laws involving teens – particularly child-pornography statutes – haven’t caught up with digital technology.

It’s important to keep in mind, too – whether or not sexting is illegal for people of any age in your state, province, or country – there can be significant psychological consequences, if coercion’s involved or if consensual sexting turns into a violation of trust between two people (if one partner later shares photos without the other’s consent).

There’s a broad range of motivations behind sexting – from digital flirting or attention-seeking to an aspect of sexual interplay to dating abuse or blackmail.

* Contacting a crisis hotline or chat service, online or via phone.

These can be found all over the US and in many other countries.

“Sexting” is a relatively new word that typically refers to sex-related or nude photos taken and shared via cellphone (most sexting happens on phones and doesn’t make it to the Web, according to research in the medical journal Pediatrics).