5 steps for sextortion victims to take right now
Sexual extortion is a terrifying and de-humanizing violation that feeds off victims’ shame. Sextortion is similar to online blackmail scams, except that instead of demanding money, the blackmailer demands the victim engage in sex acts, such as posing for naked pictures or masturbating in front of a webcam.
The most common form of sextortion is executed through social media. Sextortonists strike up close friendships with their future victims through online messaging and/or texts. Once the trust is solidified, they encourage their victims to send naked pictures or videos . They then use those photos as blackmail to force their victims to create more footage according to their perverse specifications.
Sextortonists will also hack into victims’ computers, discover sensitive material, and threaten to expose their victims if they refuse to comply with their orders.
If you are the victim of sextortion, we urge you to follow these five steps to stop the abuse.
We know that it’s not easy to admit that you’ve fallen prey to the manipulative tactics of a faceless, anonymous criminal. You might be concerned that your friends or family won’t possibly understand how the situation began. Or you’re frightened that the offender will make good on his threat to post the compromising footage online.
Remember this: you are the victim of a malicious abuser who is relying on your silence to continue the assault.
The idea of suddenly, out of the blue, not responding with the sextortonist might cause you to panic. Your mind will start racing with panicky thoughts: “Will they contact your family? Send messages to my friends?”
You should also ask yourself, “Am I willing to do this forever?” And the answer should be no. You deserve to be freed from this. Any more chats or sessions keep you in the manipulative grasp of your abuser. Once the contact is severed the battle to bring him to justice can begin.
Evidence is absolutely necessary to measure the scope, length, and timeline of the exploitation. You may feel the urge to rid your computer of any memory of the situation out of embarrassment, but don’t. Keep it all. It’s no longer your shame to bear. It’s now your ammo.
Involving the police from the beginning is important. Since there is no federal law against sextortion, gathering more information on how often it occurs will increase the need for legislative reform.
Your local law enforcement might not have the resources, time, or nuanced understanding of your situation. Make sure you speak to a lawyer who gets how sextortionists behave.
Sextornionists keep control by making you believe that if you don’t obey, your life will be over. He convinces you that you don’t have options and there’s no way out. He’s wrong.
We provide real-time crisis management from threat to actualization, advocate with law enforcement, and collaborate with contacts at major social media companies and adult websites to remove explicit content. We can help you take back control and protect your reputation. To discuss your legal options, call 646-666-8908 or send our office a message to tell us what’s going on.
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