Sisterhood Agenda

Sexportation & Sextortion: Girls At Risk

Latest posts by Angela D. Coleman (see all)

According to juvenile justice experts, sexportation and sextortion affects more middle school girls than high school girls.

What is it?  According to a special agent with the FBI:

“Sextortion is a serious crime that occurs when someone threatens to distribute your private and sensitive material if you don’t provide them images of a sexual nature, sexual favors, or money.

The perpetrator may also threaten to harm your friends or relatives by using information they have obtained from your electronic devices unless you comply with their demands.”  Source

Girls are at risk when they share sensitive information on cell phones, tablets, or computers.  “Sensitive information” includes sexual pictures, videos and/or text, such as nude selfies, sex acts, and sexting conversations.

Your private information is your information, right?  Of course, however, remember that this information may not be as private as you may think that it is, especially if you share it with just one other person.  In addition, we need to be aware that our actions and image are often captured without our consent.  In other words, that strip tease that you did on a webcam for your boyfriend can easily be captured, stored, and shared on multiple devices with the ability to distribute it to multiple sources with just the touch of a button!  If he shared it with even one other person, that person could share it with others, etc., etc.

Other times, technology devices, such as webcams, cell phones, and computers, are hacked.  There are also cases where girls have been filmed changing clothes, using the bathroom, and doing other tasks without realizing that they are being filmed. With sextortion, the perpetrator tries to use these images to make you do something that you would not normally do.  It is a criminal form of cyberbullying.  Don’t do it!  If you comply, you could be victimized by a vicious cycle of all-consuming abuse, even a form of online, remote sexual assault (over great distances.)

Sexportation and sextortion happens to girls, celebrities, and adults alike. However, girls are more at risk because they are younger and less aware about this type of crime, which makes them easier for criminals to exploit.

You may be afraid if this happens to you.  You should be concerned.  Sexportation is a sick crime that makes its victims feel violated and vulnerable.  Like most sexual crimes, criminals rely on the silence of their victims.  The power of the perpetrator lies in his/her access to your sensitive materials and your silence.  So, think before you put yourself in a vulnerable position and if this happens to you, tell the authorities.

If you have already engaged in this type of behavior where you have shared sensitive materials, do not worry yourself about it.  It is not illegal to take sexy pictures or have sex videos. However, threatening to share your private information unless you do something in return IS illegal.

Know your rights.  No one has the right to extort you, threaten you or the people you care about.  No one has the right to use your private and sensitive material to make you do anything.

If someone even tries to do use your private and sensitive information to try to make you do something, report them to your parents and the police.  Sextortion is a crime and many communities have harsh penalties for this behavior, whether it comes from another young person or an adult.  Students may get suspended and expelled from school, plus face criminal charges.

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