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Revenge Porn: How Brisbane Teens Are Manipulating Each Other

Young love is intense at the best of times. But this is any teenager's worst nightmare. Revenge porn.

In today's tech-centric world, there are a range of new challenges and pressures that teens and pre-teens face that are happening daily, right under our noses. 

In fact, recent studies show that one in five people over the age of 16 say this has happened to them. 

Before you think your child is immune or too smart to fall into those traps, we spoke to a switched on teen who watched it all unfold with one of her best friends. 

Brooke* is an 18 year old from Brisbane who watched her best friend fall victim to revenge porn when she was just 13 years of age. 

"In grade eight I had a best friend at the time who had a boyfriend and she had sent him a photo of her with no clothes on," Brooke said. 

"He actually ended up sending it out to his mates and instead of just sending it he wanted money for them.

"They were buying her photos for money - seeing that happen to a best friend is extremely hard, and the hardest thing is if you get involved you can get yourself in a lot of trouble as well. So I had to stand back but still support her."

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The fall out? Both the boy and the victim got into a lot of trouble for their actions, as sending and receiving explicit material involving minors is illegal. 

The victim was also bullied to the point that she had to move schools - however her new schoolmates had already seen the images that were circulating, making her adjustment into the new school even more difficult. 

The boy, who was also a young teenager at the time, faced even worse consequences (as he so deserved). 

"It was extremely hard for her... because it's illegal to send photos under the age of 16 so she got in quite a lot of trouble as well," she continued. 

"[The perpetrator] faced expulsion from his school as well as criminal charges because she's a minor, so he's now I think on the sex offenders list.

"He's facing those charges forever and he can't change that, just because he was stupid and 14."

But how can our smart, educated young teens and pre-teens find themselves in these types of situations? 

Brooke said even after watching what happened to her friend, people at school continued to send and receive photos regularly, assuming they were immune to any betrayal or consequences. 

"It shocked me - no one stopped doing it (sending photos)," she continued. 

"A lot of boys actually used to say 'I wont love you unless you do it' and then once they would send it they would say, 'if you don't send more I'll show them!', so it was a bit of blackmail."

Brooke made the decision to never send explicit photos to prospective partners. But despite being confident that there were no naked or suggestive photos of her doing the rounds, she said multiple boys would tell her that they already had photos of her in their possession and that if she did not send new photos they would circulate the old ones. 

RELATED: WHY YOUR TEENAGERS AREN'T SAFE EVEN IN THEIR OWN BEDROOMS

While Brooke obviously new it was a bluff and that no photos existed, we can only imagine how other young, vulnerable kids would react in that situation with the thought that explicit photos of them could be circulated. 

What's the advice Brooke has for young girls and guys right now? 

"I would say it never actually does work... love is love they don't need to see you like that. You need to always remember there's criminal offenses involved as well. 

"No matter what you do it's always going to be there with the cloud and stuff these days, you never know it could come back five years time, when you're trying to start a life outside of school."

*Names have been changed to protect her privacy 

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