How to Stop Cyber Bullying Because of Leaked Sex Tapes
Over the weekend, videos of young girls engaged in sexual activities were posted on social media and shared hundreds of times. The leaked tapes have caused uproar because some of the participants could be minors, who appeared to be inebriated. Now sex with minors under the age of sixteen is rape; but there is also the issue of cyber bullying for which legislation is being proposed. News Five’s Duane Moody reports.
Duane Moody, Reporting
Young people having sexual intercourse or being sexually active—believe it or not, is nothing new and will continue to happen. But over the weekend, social media lit up with comments—negative and otherwise—on sex tapes that were being circulated online involving mostly young Belizean girls. While the release of the tapes online would appear to be mischief, it is a form of cyber bullying, an issue that can have adverse psychological effects on the participants.
Eckert Middleton, Sexual Reproductive Health Manager, DYS
“In terms of the young person, they would have to come forward and seek assistance in that regard. For the general public, it is to realize that young people are going through that process of growing up. With social media now, stuff like this could happen in a more close-knit community; that it is not out there as much as it is now on social media. Young people will make mistakes and with video recording and cell phones and so on, it makes it much more easier for young people to be caught into a trap like that. It is unfair because at the end of the day, this is somebody going through growing pains, same as you when you were a child and maybe the difference is that there was a cell phone involved that recorded what happened.”
There are many concerns surrounding the leaked videos; the girls appear to be under-aged, in some cases inebriated and in only one, a condom was used. According to Middleton, there are several programs in place that can be accessed by young people and the general public in providing useful information to prevent risky sexual practices.
“Over the years, a number of partners including the DYS has been doing education in terms of practicing safe sex or safer sex as you call it. The information doesn’t necessarily translate into behavior change over time, right away. Because we know that young people are at the age of taking risk and risky behavior is a part of the equation when it comes to HIV infection. So the information is available; we do the trainings, but at the end of the day when young people are in certain situations, they will take a risk in terms of not using a condom.”
But are there challenges in reaching out to vulnerable youths who may be pressured into engaging into sexual intercourse—protected or unprotected? There are various factors that may lead to these situations.
“We can’t really pinpoint exactly the motivation in that regard rather than going on some of the data from the CAPS study which show that young people would engage in these risky behavior in an early age. And that risk increases as time pass; it could be based on economic issues or them not realizing their vulnerability to HIV or other STIs. So it varies based on demographics—for people in the rural community compared to the urban areas. It also varies in terms of economics.”
Duane Moody for News Five.