In our interconnected world, the internet has transformed the way we live, work, and connect with others. However, this digital landscape is not without its dangers, and one such threat that can deeply impact on individuals is online sexual extortion or ‘sextortion’. If you find yourself as a victim of this distressing crime, please know that you are not alone, and there is support available to help you navigate through this challenging situation.
Our analysts at the IWF are receiving increasing reports of this type of crime. Sometimes the blackmailer shows the victim a compilation of images which includes the original nude or intimate image which was first shared, plus the victim’s social media accounts, friends and family lists, as well as falsely accusing the victim of crimes that they haven’t committed.
This guide aims to provide crucial guidance to adults who have fallen victim to online sextortion. It seeks to empower you with practical steps to take, essential resources, and strategies to safeguard your well-being and reclaim your sense of security.
Additionally, this guide will provide guidance on seeking emotional support and professional assistance to help you cope with the aftermath of online sextortion. We will direct you to helplines, counselling services, and organisations specialising in victim support, ensuring you have access to the care and guidance you deserve.
Remember, you are not at fault for the actions of others, and it is crucial to prioritise your safety and well-being.
The Revenge Porn Helpline can support adults (aged 18+) who are experiencing intimate image abuse, also known as revenge porn.
Victim Support is an independent charity dedicated to supporting victims of crime and traumatic incidents in England and Wales.
Advice from the Met Police on what sextortion is and what to do if you've been targeted.
StopNCII.org helps people have non-consensual intimate images (nudes, explicit images etc.) removed from the internet.
Report Harmful Content can help you to report harmful content online by providing up-to-date information on community standards and links to the reporting facilities across multiple platforms.
A helpful guide from the National Cyber Security Centre on how to protect yourself from sextortion phishing scams.
Samaritans offer a non-judgemental person to talk to. Call, email or live chat with them anytime. Call free on 116 123.
CALM (Campaign Against Living Miserably) offer support for people over the age of 15 who are having suicidal thoughts or feelings. Open from 5pm to midnight every day of the year: 0800 58 58 58
The Marie Collins Foundation offers free support for victims and survivors of sexual abuse. Specialist staff can offer someone to talk to, support and practical advice.
Hub of Hope offers a database of mental health support organisations for people experiencing mental and emotional distress.
The Mental Health Foundation offers guidance on how to look after your own mental health or support someone who is having mental health problems.