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Teenager leads police #ItHappenedToMe campaign highlighting online risks of sending nude photos

An image from the anti-sexting online safety film Photo: Hampshire Police

A teenager who was duped into sending a nude photograph of herself to someone who then shared the image around their school, is using her story to warn other young people about the dangers of sharing intimate images.

Sending naked photos via mobile phone text messages or online through social media is more commonly known as 'sexting'.

It is becoming a growing trend among young people, but sending the images can open people up to online bullying.

Megan Hinton from Hampshire was 14 years old when she fell into the trap and it had devastating consequences.

Now, years later, she is using her story as a cautionary tale in a bid to help other children and their parents to learn from her experience.

She has teamed up with Hampshire Police to launch a video to warn and educate people about the dangers of sharing intimate photos.

  • Megan visited the ITV News Meridian studios to share her story:

The launch coincides with Safer Internet Day.

Hampshire Police have created three versions of the film they have made with Megan called ''Sending nudes: #ItHappenedToMe''.

The three individual films highlight the risks of sexting and are aimed at young people, parents and professionals who work with young people.

Officer are also referring parents and teachers to their Safe4Me website which has free resources to help them tackle the subject of online safety with their children and pupils.

We hope that hearing about Megan's experience and how she overcame this difficult time will give strength and support to young people who experience bullying and pressure for nude pictures or naked selfies.

"We'll be broadcasting our film on a range of social media and online channels, including Safe4Me, to get the message across to as many people as possible and will be sending the film to schools so it can be shown to pupils and staff. We will continue working in partnership with schools, youth centres, and others organisations to raise awareness.

"We encourage parents and teachers not to be afraid to talk to children about their activities on social media and explain the importance of privacy, and thinking before uploading content online, to prevent them from becoming both the victims and perpetrators."

– PC Maria Carrick, Hampshire Police