The Australian Federal Police through the Australian Centre to Counter Child Exploitation is seeing a concerning global trend of teenage males being targeted to send explicit images of themselves and then blackmailed. This is called sexual extortion, or sextortion.
The AFP is urging families to have important safety conversations ahead of the school holidays to prevent young people from becoming victim. This crime can have serious wellbeing and psychological impacts.
How does sextortion start?
- Unsolicited friend and follow requests on social media
- Direct messages on one app and then being asked to keep chatting on a secondary app
- Conversations suddenly and quickly becoming sexualised
- Requests for sexualised images or content.
What can families do?
- Have open and regular conversations about your child’s online activities and interactions
- Know what platforms, apps and games they are using and who they are interacting with
- Remain open and approachable, victims will be reluctant to come forward if they feel they will be punished or blamed
- Ensure your child knows that it is okay to leave conversations if they feel uncomfortable or unsafe
- Support your child and know how to respond. The Online blackmail and sexual extortion response kit has been created to recognise sextortion and get help.
The Australian Centre to Counter Child Exploitation is here to keep young people safe from online sexual exploitation and abuse.
You can make a report via accce.gov.au/report
For further information, resources and advice visit thinkuknow.org.au