What is Sextortion?


Sextortion occurs when an offender threatens to share sexual images or video of someone to coerce them into providing additional content or sexual favours. These interactions can take place between two peers who are in a relationship, but are most commonly an adult stranger looking to target young people online.

The connection between an adult and a child is often made on social media or a streaming platform. Once trust has been established, the offender will shift their conversation to a chatting service that is more private, where they then persuade the child or youth to send sexual content or perform sexual acts while on video chat. This material of the child is then used against them if they refuse to send more content.

According to Cybertip.ca, the three most common forms of sextortion are:

  1. Sextort for more sexual material: The offender will persuade the child or youth to send additional sexual material by threatening to share previously obtained content of the young person with members of their family or friends, or online.
  2. Sextort for money: The offender threatens to share sexual material of child or youth if they do not send money.
  3. Screen captures photos/videos: The child or youth, often unknowingly, has been screen recorded in a sexual act by the offender. These types of offenders are referred to as cappers. Once the capper obtains the material, they will often block or ignore the young person and move onto their next target. The sexual content is then shared online and exchanged with other offenders.

Reports of child abuse must be made to the following reporting sources:

Child Abuse Hotline: 1-800-387-5437 (KIDS)

Kids Help Phone: 1-800-668-6868 or Text CONNECT to 686868

Crime Stoppers: 1-800-222-8477

Online Exploitation: cybertip.ca

Or your local police/RCMP detachment


Sources:

https://www.cybertip.ca/app/en/internet_safety-sextortion

https://www.thorn.org/sextortion/

https://www.fbi.gov/news/stories/stop-sextortion-youth-face-risk-online-090319

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