“Sextortion” can be defined as the manipulation of a child to send inappropriate pictures or to do inappropriate things on camera or eventually meet up with a predator. The predator obtains a inappropriate picture or video of the child and extorts that child to send more compromising pictures or do more acts that are captured on camera or else the predator will expose that child to shame by circulating the offensive material online to that child’s social network. The predator needs a never-ending stream of images to remain in its pedophile group on the dark web.
Sextortion is on the rise to the extent that law enforcement simply can’t keep up. There are an increasing number of predators and as they congregate often in groups they share experiences and techniques on how to ingratiate themselves with victims. The number of social media apps aimed at youth only exacerbates the problem.
One of the predators Daniel Harris was a Navy flier with a wife and two children who admitted to going a bit too far with one of his victims maintaining it was an isolated incident. Well there certainly was more than one victim! Harris ended up with a 50-year sentence. Unfortunate victims, mostly young girls, internalize the shame without telling their parents to the point they fall victim to depression, cutting and even suicide like Amanda Todd from Canada. Todd was victimized by a predator but additionally once photos of her circulated on social media then the cyber bullying began.
Predators focus on girls from 7-18 years of age but the most vulnerable are in the 10-15 year old bracket.
The problem is a global one. One victim thinking initially she was in love with her predator later finds out the one man was really 12 different men from different countries.
The documentary presents views of victims, parents, lawyers, prosecutors, survivor groups and police mostly located in Virginia. Practical advice is given on how to spot children who are in the process of being victimized.
For many the techniques of predators are understood but the documentary explains the huge extent of sextortion in the United States. The documentary has been restricted to the United States so far but there is a global digital release scheduled for October 4, 2022. To learn more visit www.sextortionfilm.com.
You can see the trailer here https://vimeo.com/673752770
The director and producer is Maria Peek.