Save Sextortion Victims Before Tragedy Strikes

Target: Dick Durbin, Chair of U.S. Senate Committee on the Judiciary

Goal: Advocate for stricter legal protection against sextortion crimes often involving minors.

An Australian teenager reportedly committed suicide after becoming a victim of alleged blackmail. The teen had apparently been threatened that private photos featuring him would be leaked if he did not pay the alleged blackmailers $500. The teen had seemingly made contact with the suspects online. Two men based in Nigeria have since been charged with sex-related extortion: a crime more commonly known as sextortion.

Recently, a similar case hit the spotlight in Michigan after two men pled guilty to a sextortion crime that allegedly led to the suicide of a teen in that state. Sextortion—which often targets vulnerable teenagers or even younger children—is an on-the-rise crime globally. Criminals often threaten victims to either send more compromising pictures or to send money, the latter of which is called financial sextortion. While some states have enacted laws specifically addressing these crimes, most states rely on vaguer and less specific laws that may or may not put criminals behind bars and keep children out of harm’s way.

Sign the petition below to join in the calls for a federal law targeting this growing crime and gross invasion of privacy.

PETITION LETTER:

Dear Senator Durbin,

Many, if not most, victims of sextortion do not come forward out of fear and shame. Too often, these victims—especially the youngest and most vulnerable victims—see no other way out than taking their own lives. America desperately needs modern laws that directly address this modern crime.

Since many cases involve the dissemination of materials over state or even international lines, a federal law specifically focused on financial and tradition sextortion only makes sense. Use the handful of states that have already crafted such laws as models and push for legislation at the national level that confronts one of American justice’s most insidious and tragic crimes.

Sincerely,

[Your Name Here]

Photo Credit: Cliff Booth


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