Give Youths Protection From Sextortion
Sextortion is a form of cybercrime in which someone coerces, threatens, or manipulates individuals into performing sexual acts or providing explicit content, often through the use of digital communication platforms. The perpetrator typically obtains compromising photos, videos, or messages of the victim and then uses these materials as leverage to demand money, additional explicit content, or to manipulate the victim for personal gain. Sextortion can have severe emotional and psychological consequences for the victims, who may be afraid or ashamed to seek help. It is important for individuals to practice caution when sharing explicit content and to report any instances of sextortion to the appropriate authorities.
The seriousness of the impact of sextortion on our youths was recently brought to the forefront with the tragic death of 17-year-old Jordan DeMay, a high school student who committed suicide after falling victim to a sextortion scam run by a Nigerian man.
“My son was smart. He was a good student. He was a great athlete,” DeMay's dad, John DeMay, told Fox News Digital in an interview Tuesday. “Someone came to his bedroom at 3 in the morning and murdered him through Instagram when we were all sleeping at night, and we had zero chance to stop it,” he said.
Youth advocate and Bully Avengers Founder Joseph Bonner recently shared some practical advice on his Podcast “Child Safety Guide,” where he encourages parents and youths to fight fire with fire. When being threatened, Bonner said, ” Just let the person know that you will just deny it and say that the person photoshopped it because they were upset you rejected them.” Another piece of advice Joseph gave is to let them know that by sharing explicit content online, it will be easier for international authorities to track down their IP address and prosecute them for sharing explicit child images and videos.”
While the problem grows in intensity globally it is important for parents to closely monitor what their child does online and empower youths with the ability to fight back. “Talk to an adult you trust if you feel like it’s too much to handle,” Joseph encouraged. He concluded, “You are not the one who will be in trouble.”
For help in dealing with suspected sextortion, you can contact the FBI and submit a report online and share the person's social media account. Contact your local FBI field office , call 1-800-CALL-FBI, or report it online at tips.fbi.gov
If you are contemplating self-harm or suicide please don’t take your life. You will win this fight. Please contact the Suicide Prevention Line at 988
If you need additional assistance with any online bullying or harassment for yourself or your child please contact the Bully Avengers Facebook page. www.facenook.com/thebullyavengers/