Clovis, NM – The Ninth Judicial District Attorney’s Office is excited to announce their new community program, “Picture This.”
District Attorney Andrea Reeb said that “Picture This” is a pro-active program created by her office to educate middle school and high school students about the dangers of possessing and distributing child pornography and sending inappropriate messages via social media, also known as “sexting”. Reeb stated, “My office takes this issue seriously, and we are working actively with local law enforcement, school administrators, teachers, and students to confront this issue head on. Our office has seen an uptick in cases where young people are sharing inappropriate photos or videos on different types of social media apps. We reached out to local school administrators in the surrounding areas, and they are completely supporting this much needed pro-active program.”
The District Attorney’s Program Administrator, Pablo Pena, has been in the local schools educating students on whether they may be, either knowingly or unknowingly, guilty of distribution or possession of child pornography; a crime that can be charged to anyone under the age of 18 per New Mexico law. This crime is a special fourth degree felony and carries a maximum punishment of two years in the New Mexico Youth Diagnostic Development Center. The program stresses to teens that once an inappropriate image is out on the web and shared, it can last a lifetime. Think before you hit send.
Statistics show that ninety-five percent of teens use some type of social media platform and forty-five percent of teens are constantly online. Eighty-eight percent of teens say that they share too much personal information online, increasing the likelihood of becoming a victim. Recent studies show that victims of sexting were five times more likely to attempt suicide and three times more likely to contemplate suicide than those that have not been victims of sexting.
Reeb said, “We have received a lot of positive feedback from school administrators after presenting our program. Students were unaware they were committing these acts and were shocked to hear that it is a crime. After hearing the presentation, teens who might be contemplating suicide have been reaching out to school staff, looking for help. If this program helps one teen in our community receive help, it will be well worth the effort that has been put forth.
This program is another effort by the District Attorney’s office to take a pro-active approach to fighting crime in our community.
For more information, please contact the Office of the District Attorney, at 575-769-2246