We know that being online can be exciting and fun, but we also want to make sure you know how to protect yourself from the not-so-fun stuff. Online sexual extortion or sextortion is one of those not-so-fun things that we want to help you tackle head-on because your safety and well-being matter above all else.
This guide is here to lend you a helping hand if you ever find yourself a victim of online sextortion.
If someone is threatening you by demanding nudes or sexual images or videos and wants you to pay money to stop, this can be very worrying. It is a crime for people to blackmail or threaten you in this way and it’s wrong. This type of behaviour can be called ‘sextortion’ or being ‘sexually coerced’. You are not alone in this situation, and you are not to blame. While it can feel very upsetting, organisations like the IWF and others are here to help.
We recommend talking to a trusted adult. This might be a parent, carer or teacher at school. Talking to someone you trust will help you understand the situation and put steps in place to make things better. There’s a guidance page for parents and carers here.
Here are some helpful steps to follow:
You can contact Childline about anything. Whatever your worry, it's better out than in. They are there to support you. There are lots of different ways to speak to a Childline counsellor or get support from other young people.
Gurls Out Loud offers help for what to do if you're approached for nudes online. Boys are welcome too!
Bullies Out provides a safe place to talk about and get advice on any kind of bullying - online or in person.
Young Minds provide information and help on lots of different topics including bullying, social media, mental health etc. and where you can go to get help.
The Marie Collins Foundation offer young people who've been harmed by technology-assisted child sexual abuse counselling and support.
Victim Support helps children and young people cope with the impact and effects of crime including online sextortion/blackmail.
Samaritans can help if you need someone to talk to, are in crisis or are feeling suicidal. Whatever you're going through, call them free any time, from any phone, on 116 123.