Companies may not have enough staff to deal with the complaints or are averse to being seen as censors.Few victims reported sextortion to law enforcement. Victims described a lack of criminal laws addressing sextortion and being shamed or blamed by police.The other group, the malicious seducers, used friendship, deception and promises of romance to acquire compromising pictures from targets they met online, and then used these pictures to extract more images and sex.They tracked down victims’ contacts on social media sites, stalked victims online and used threats to force them into demeaning webcam sex.Intimate partner violence (IPV) [539 KB, 2 Pages, 508] is a serious, preventable public health problem that affects millions of Americans.The term “intimate partner violence” describes physical, sexual, or psychological harm by a current or former partner or spouse. We do know that strategies that promote healthy behaviors in relationships are important.Reducing the sense of stigma and self-blame among victims is an important step to foiling perpetrators.We believe there is a special role here for the technology industry which has built their business model on inviting young people into their spaces to share the intimate details and deeply fraught aspects of their relationships.
We defined sextortion as threats to expose sexual images in order to make a person do something or for other reasons, such as revenge or humiliation.
The threats alone were highly distressing, but even more alarming, perpetrators actually carried out their threats to distribute intimate images in almost half of cases.
The personal and psychological toll on victims was intense, with almost one-quarter seeking medical or mental health assistance and 12 percent moving from their homes as a result.
The perpetrators were mostly men targeting women and girls, but we also heard about sextortion within LGBTQ relationships.
The cases could be largely divided into two dynamic groups.