Sextortion: Fastest-Growing Online Threat to Children

Sextortion is a difficult and sensitive subject, but we need to talk about it.

Every adult needs to know about this new form of child sexual exploitation that has dramatically increased over recent years.  According to the U.S. Department of Justice, sextortion is the fastest-growing online threat to children.  In December 2022, a national public safety alert was made to raise awareness about an explosion of cases. 

In today’s blog, we are going to define sextortion, explain how and why youth are targeted, provide tips to help prevent this child sexual exploitation, and offer ways to support youth.

Talking to Youth About Pornography

Sometimes we can avoid talking about sensitive subjects because we fear it might be awkward, difficult, or even stressful.  However, it’s always better to be proactive and have the talk!

Why is it important to talk to your kids about pornography?

Youth are being exposed to pornography at younger and younger ages.

According to a 2022 report from Common Sense Media, 15% of teens surveyed said they first viewed pornography at age 10 or younger.  The average age that youth self-reported being exposed to online pornography was 12 years old.