On 27 August 2012, Victorian Director Dan Flynn presented the submission of the Australian Christian Lobby to the Victorian Parliamentary Inquiry into sexting. Click here to read the submission.



Sexting refers to the increasing practice among young people of taking indecent pictures of themselves and transmitting them to another on smartphones and computers. Significant harm may follow,including harrassment and bullying-particularly when images are forwarded to others.



ACL pointed out that once the image is taken and forwarded the creator has no control over the use that the image will be put to. The dangers of sexting include permanent damage to the subject's digital footprint. Incidents of harassment related suicides resulting from sexting were referred to and recommended that priority should be given to education programs in schools that alert students to the harmful effects.



ACL supports legislative amendment that would currently see young people naively sexting facing charges of creating child pornograhy with potential terms of imprisonment and registration on the Sex Offenders Register for 8+ years, charged with a more suitable offence, in appropriate cases.



However ACL does not support the decriminalising of sexting. Mr Flynn said that decriminalisation would send a message that it is now "ok " to sext and would result in an increase in this dangerous practice.



ACL also submitted that any new legislation must ensure that genuinely predatory adults are placed on a Sex Offender Register when guilty of producing or transmitting child pornography.



The submission called on the Victorian Government to request the Federal Government to implement its promised mandatory Internet filter of "Refused Classification" material-a practical measure to reduce the "sexualisation of culture" and protect children.



The Victorian Law Reform Committee will report to the Parliament later this year.



Click here to read the transcript.