As you have read on our blog, there are many risks of children and teens being online. Sextortion is one of those risks. So, the question is, what is sextortion? Just from the term, you can automatically assume that something sexually explicit is involved, which is nothing you want for your child/teen. Sextortion is when a stranger uses your child’s private information to extort them. Sextortion is a form of cyberbullying.
Sextortion is when someone blackmails or coerces your child with the intention of extorting further sexually explicit images, money or some kind of sexual favour from those targeted.
Sextortion refers to the broad category of sexual exploitation. This includes threatening to release sexual images or information about the victim in order to coerce them to do what they are requesting.
In many cases, sextortion is done by someone in power. This may be a teacher or another authority figure. They use their power to request sexual favors in exchange for something they can offer. For example, a teacher my offer good grades for sexual favors.
Sextortion may also be done in the form of blackmail. The person in power or the person who is on the other end of the sextortion will extort the victim with sexual images such as nude photos. These images are typically shared over text message when sexting and then they are later used to extort the individual for sexual favors. The threat is that if they don’t participate, then their sexually explicit images or videos will be exposed.
Sextortion can take place over webcams which is a huge concern. The victims are forced to perform sexual acts or undress on the webcam. This can later be used as pornography or be spread around for others to see.
Sextortion causes humiliation and can even cause victims to feel suicidal or take their life. The victims feel as if they have lost all control over themselves, their body and their privacy. Sextortion is extremely dangerous and a serious crime.
- Immediately stop all communication: Stop engaging in all communication with the blackmailer immediately. While a teen may worry about getting into trouble with a parent, what they will experience if they do continue communication will be much worse. You cam deactivate the accounts that the person is contacting you through. Do not delete the account as you want to keep the information to report the person.
- Do not comply with their requests EVER: Whether they are requesting money, images or access to your webcam, do not comply.
- Tell someone: While a tween or teen may be concerned about getting in trouble, they are at a much higher risk if they do not tell an adult that can help them. Do not try and solve this on your own. Ask for help. Sextortion is too big to manage alone.
- Save their information: It is important to save their information so that you can report the person. What they are doing is a serious crime and they must be reported.
- Report the crime immediately: Contact your local police to report the crime.