Sexting might be sexual harassment

When you think of sexual harassment, you might assume that it requires physical contact. Yet, someone can sexually harass you when they are not in the same room or even the same state as you.

What is sexting?

Sexting takes place electronically via cellphones or computers. It involves one party sending sexually suggestive material to the other. While explicit messages or voicemails could potentially count as sexting, more often than not, there are images involved. The photos typically show someone without clothes on or engaged in sexual activity.

Is sexting always illegal?

Let’s imagine you start dating a colleague. As part of your relationship, you exchange sexy pictures. Two consenting adults have the right to send each other explicit or suggestive images of themselves. It becomes a crime when one person does not want to receive the material. It also becomes a legal matter if one of you is underage.

Even if you initially consented to exchange pictures, you have the right to control your image. The person you sent the pictures to does not have the right to share those photos with a friend. They do not have the right to post them on the internet. Nor do they have the right to print them and post them on the work noticeboard because they are upset that you ended the relationship. Any of those actions could be classed as sexual harassment and are potentially prosecutable.

You do not have to put up with any form of sexual harassment. There are federal and state laws to protect you. Do not be afraid to seek legal advice. Sexual harassment is illegal, whatever form it takes.

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