Child Protection: Everything Parents Should Know About Sexting In South Africa


Sexting is one of the things undermining the efforts made towards child protection in South Africa.

Yesterday, the Social Development Minister, Bathabile Dlamini launched the 2017 Child Protection Week campaign in Langa, Cape Town.

The annual campaign was launched under the theme – ‘Let us all Protect Children to Move South Africa Forward’.

In line with that, the South African Police Service (SAPS) published everything it wants South African parents to know about sexting in the country.

See Also – How To Protect Your Kids From Criminals, +10 Tips

First, SAPS specified that sexting is all about sending and receiving naked or semi-naked pictures via electronic means.

Adding that it also involves using acronyms and abbreviations to send and receive flirtatious or sexual messages, SAPS warned that the following are the dangers of sexting.

1. Loss of control

Once an image, message or video has been shared, the sender has lost all control of where or how it will be distributed.

2. Humiliation

SAPS warned that the humiliation caused by having explicit content in circulation can be devastating. “In some tragic cases, the level of despair and shame has led people to serious self-harm and even suicide.”

3. Sextortion 

The term is a combination of the words ‘sex’ and ‘extortion’. SAPS said extortionists and blackmailers have always leveraged their knowledge of other’s indiscretions, or their possession of compromising images and communications.

“There is no shortage of ‘sextortionists’ hoping to leverage their victim’s sexual content for their own financial or sexual, benefit,” warned the service.

4. Legal consequences

SAPS warned that sexually explicit photographs, videos and communications even when shared between minors under the age of 18, may be classified as child pornography.

As such, the “taker of the image, the recipient of the image, and anyone who shares the content may be charged and found guilty of crimes.”

5. Social and physical consequences:

Sexting comes with social consequences which can include humiliation, bullying and cyberbullying.

It is believed that sexual content can increase the likelihood of becoming a victim of physical abuse. It’s possible for the images to end up on the Internet and in the hands of paedophiles, SAPS expressed.

How to Protect Kids from the Dangers of Sexting

With the foregoing, SAPS highlighted the following as ways to protect your kid.

  1. Knowledge is power. Be informed of the latest cell phones and how they function.
  2. Even if you respect your child’s privacy, there must be rules. Insist on knowing your child’s passwords and talk to them about ways to protect them.
  3. Talk to your mobile phone operator about filtering software to block inappropriate content and websites.
  4. Learn the common acronyms children use online and in text messages.
  5. Become involved. Your involvement in your child’s life, including his or her online life, is the best insurance you can have for your child’s safety.
  6. Talk to your child about the dangers of sexting. Let them know that it is possible to meet predators who can take advantage of them.
  7. Talk to your child about the dangers of sexting. Let them know that it is possible to meet predators who can take advantage of them.

Read Also – 8 Parents Who Have Killed Their Children: The Evil That Humans Do

In line with point no. (4) above, SAPS warned that the following terms are of a sexual nature. And, that the kids use them to hide what they are saying from parents.

  1. 8 – Oral sex
  2. 143 – I love you
  3. cu46 – See you for sex
  4. DUM – Do you masturbate?
  5. GNOC – Get naked on Cam
  6. GYPO – Get your pants off
  7. GNRN – Get naked right now
  8. IWS – I want sex
  9. RUH – Are you horny?
  10. TDTM – Talk dirty to me
  11. S2R – Send to receive
  12. NIFOC – Naked in front of Computer
  13. SorG – Straight or Gay?
  14. JO – Jerk off
  15. PAW – Parents are watching
  16. PIR – Parent in room
  17. POS – Parent over shoulder
  18. YWS – You want sex
  19. WYCM – Will you call me?
  20. (L)MIRL – (Let us) meet in real life
  21. MOS – Mom over Shoulder
  22. P911 – Parent emergency
  23. PRON – Porn
  24. FYEO – For your eyes only