Sexting Damages Are Now Being Awarded

Sometimes you feel a little bit horny and turned on. When that happens, the best way to deal with that is to get it out of your system. You might do this by turning on the computer and visiting your favourite porn site. Some of us prefer to send a sexy text message to our favourite person and see what kind of kinky things they send back. Sexting is a hell of a lot of fun and we here at Escort Ireland love it. It’s a great way to turn your partner on, but it seems that sexting might soon change forever.

Sexy woman on bed sexting on her phone, closeup

It seems that we might soon have an influx of people eager to claim that they have been manipulated or forced into sexting, either by sending or receiving sexually-explicit images or messages. This is all because someone has been awarded damages for it for the first time ever. Great news for those who have been left traumatised and suffering as a result of sexting, but many of us are now concerned that the awards of damage might actually be misused. So, how do sexting damages work and why might people try to take advantage?

A first for sexting

This is the first time that someone has ever received damages for sexting, and it has set a bit of a legal precedent for the future. We can expect to see more cases like this receiving damages for the way that sexting has harmed the person involved, but hopefully those cases will be few and far between.

The victim in the case was a teenager who developed a friendship with a member of staff at a school, and became a go-to person whenever the teenager had something that they wanted to talk to someone about.

The teenager described the teacher as “a father figure” and explained that, “as the relationship built up, things just got worse”. It seems that he was abusing his power as he began to request naked pictures of her and make comments to her that were totally inappropriate. The victim knew that it was wrong and said that she “used to feel” that she was being “pressured into sending” pictures. “I used to think to myself, just forget about it, it’s nothing.”

Of course, it wasn’t nothing. So when it began to come to light, the decision was made that something had to be done. After all, this kind of thing could cause serious psychological harm to the victim.

Psychological harm

The reason that the damages have been awarded in this case is because of the risk involved. There is a belief that the encouragement and pressure put on the victim to send those type of messages and images meant that she wasn’t willing.

At the time, the victim was also trying to dismiss what was happening instead of admitting to herself that this was abuse. That, combined with the fact that it was all at the hands of someone who is supposed to be responsible with vulnerable people, meant that they felt they had enough grounds to grant the victim damages in this case.

The risk of psychological harm in this case is very real. The fact that she trusted this member of staff and they used that trust to request nude images means that she might find it difficult to trust others in the future.

In the case, the court stated that “the perpetrator cannot realistically say that the consequences were unintended”, as it was clear what would happen by encouraging a vulnerable young woman to send those kind of images. In these circumstances, it seems that it is only right to award damages.

Open to abuse

It is great that something is being done to help those who have found themselves receiving or sending sexts without really wanting to and might suffer psychological harm as a result. However, there are plenty of people concerned that the system is open to abuse.

Lawyer David McClenaghan has stated that “this is ground-breaking law. The scale of these cases is potentially enormous”. Yes, it is ground-breaking, and it seems that we might be seeing a lot more of these cases making it to court with damages being awarded in each case.

The NSPCC are concerned, as they state that “it’s vital that there are serious punishments that deter offenders from committing these crimes against young people. However, whilst damages could help discourage potential abusers, there is a danger that young people could just use this as a way to get cash by suing one another.”

They suggest that we should instead be focusing on educating young people about what is and isn’t appropriate to send in a text message or picture. After all, if you don’t send it then it can’t be used against you. It has also been suggest that when sexting with someone, you need to make sure that the person is actually willingly consenting to what is going on, instead of being manipulated into it.

Can of worms

On paper, this type of ruling seems great, and in a perfect world it would only need to happen when someone takes things too far. The problem is that this has the potential to turn into a can of worms if it is mishandled and misused. Asking a vulnerable person for naked pictures is bad. We all know that. However if you were to send out a dick pic to someone who then decided they didn’t want to see it, could you then find yourself paying damages to the person who looked at it?

Imagine if you are enjoying a hot and heavy sexting session with someone with back-and-forth banter with lots of teasing. You are having fun together, but in the future you fall out. Might they then turn around and say that you manipulated them into sending those saucy messages in the first place, despite the fact that they consented at the time?

What do you think about this case? Personally, I feel that awarding damages for sexting needs to be dealt with very carefully. Otherwise, anyone can come forward and claim that they have been psychologically damaged by the messages they have received. It takes the seriousness of the situation away from the real victims who are suffering, such as the victim in this case. She has admitted that “it affects my relationships” and that “I feel like they’re going to abuse me again” whenever she starts a new relationship. All because of some sexts to someone she trusted.

Hopefully, this won’t be abused, but in a perfect world no-one would be asking vulnerable people for sexy pictures in the first place. Got an opinion on this topic, or some ideas about preventing abuse of the system? You can share them in the comment box below and let us know what you think. Maybe you should head to the Escort Ireland forum and join in the discussion there? We’d love to hear what you have to say.

Lara Mills
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