You haven’t done anything wrong and what’s happened is not your fault. You are not alone and we are here to help you. We know it’s easier said than done but try to keep calm and follow this advice:
1. Collect evidence
This can include screenshots of messages where they are threatening you, screenshots of the profile they are using, usernames and times and dates of when the messages are sent. It may also be useful to create a timeline of events showing exactly what has been happening and how long it has been going on for.
2. Report to the police
It's against the law. The Sentencing Council included the ‘threat to disclose intimate material or sexually explicit images’, within its guideline for offences under the Communications Act 2003. Blackmail is also a serious crime in the UK and is covered by the 1984 Theft Act.
We would encourage you to report this to the police by calling the police non-emergency number 101, you will need to give the call handler brief details and an appropriate officer should return your call.
If at any point you feel like you are at immediate risk of physical danger, contact the police on 999.
3. Report, block and stop communication
Once you have collected evidence, we would encourage you to block and stop all communication. If you can, try to report and block the user on the platform they are threatening you on. See our advice here on how to report to social media. If the platform isn't on the list, there should be a report tool or advice via the platform.
4. Talk to the helpline
Let us know where they are threatening to share your intimate images and videos and we will do our best to provide you with some more specific advice. If the image or video is being threatened to be shared on Facebook, Facebook Messenger or Instagram, and you have access to the images, you can find more information about the Facebook Pilot which works to digitally hash intimate images and prevent them from being shared on those three platforms. Find information on the Facebook Pilot here.
5. Reach out for more support
We understand how distressing this can be: make sure you reach out for support to help you cope with what has happened.