Sexual blackmail, also known as sextortion (a portmanteau word combining "sex" and "extortion"), refers to a type of blackmail carried out using photographs, videos or other digital media of a sexual nature. Once the material is in their possession, the blackmailer demands money or other favours from the victim, threatening to send the images, photos or videos to their friends and family or upload them to online platforms if their demands are not met. (source: bee-secure.lu)
The images might have been sent knowingly and in complete confidence to a partner or friend, and subsequently misused at the expense of the sender (for example, following an argument or separation, or by a malicious third party).
If you are a victim of sexual blackmail, it is important that you:
- stop sharing photos or videos;
- cease communication and block the perpetrator;
- collect evidence such as text messages, screenshots, etc.;
- do not give in to the blackmail (even if the perpetrator is a so-called "trusted" person);
- be brave - make it clear to the person in question that you will not give in and that you will report them to the authorities;
- do not pay a single penny if the perpetrator tries to extort money from you, and file a complaint with the Police immediately;
- tell someone, for example a family member or friend, or contact a telephone helpline such as the BEE SECURE Helpline (8002 1234);
- change your passwords. The blackmailer will then no longer have access to your data and personal accounts.