Navigating Sextortion: What Parents Can Do If Their Teen is Caught Sexting

Sextortion is a form of cybercrime that involves the use of sexual images, videos, or messages to extort money or other forms of payment from victims. It is an increasingly common crime that can have devastating consequences for victims and their families. This article provides an overview of sextortion, including parental reactions, ways to monitor devices and online activity, educating children on the dangers of sharing information online, and how to contact law enforcement if sextortion is suspected. Additionally, it covers two programs that can help support victims: Healthy Sexuality Group Program and Outpatient SIBR Program.

Parental Reactions

When parents discover their child has been a victim of sextortion, it can be a difficult and emotional situation. Parents may experience feelings of guilt or shame, thinking that they could have done something differently to prevent the situation from occurring. It is important for parents to understand that the blame should never be placed on them, as sextortion is a crime committed by the perpetrator.

Support System

It is important for parents to create a supportive environment for their child in order to help them cope with the trauma. This could involve talking about the incident with family members or friends who may be able to provide an outside perspective and offer advice. Parents should also consider seeking professional help from a therapist or counselor if needed.


It is equally important for parents to take care of themselves during this time. This could involve taking breaks throughout the day, engaging in activities that bring joy, and having regular check-ins with family and friends. Self-care can help reduce stress and anxiety levels so that parents can be there for their child during this difficult time.

Monitor Devices and Online Activity

Parents should monitor their children’s online activity, including any devices they use to access the internet. This can help parents identify any potential risks or threats that their children may be exposed to. Parents should also have conversations with their children about sextortion and other dangers of sharing information online. It is important for parents to understand what their children are doing online and who they are talking to. Additionally, parents should set limits on how much time their children spend online and what types of websites they visit.

Set Rules and Boundaries

Parents should also set rules and boundaries for their children when it comes to using the internet. These rules should include not sharing personal information, such as passwords, phone numbers, home addresses, or credit card information with anyone online. Parents should also remind their children not to engage in online activities that could put them at risk of being a victim of sextortion or other forms of cybercrime.

Use Parental Controls

Parents can also use parental control software or applications to monitor their children’s online activity. These tools can help parents monitor which websites their children are visiting and block inappropriate content from being accessed by their child. Additionally, these tools can help parents restrict access to certain websites or applications that may put their child at risk of being exposed to sextortion.

Educate Children on Dangers of Sharing Information Online

Parents must educate their children on the potential dangers of sharing information online. It is important to discuss the risks associated with sharing personal information, photos, and videos in an online setting. This includes discussing how sextortion works and how predators may use this tactic to exploit vulnerable individuals. Parents should also discuss the importance of not engaging in sexual activity online or sending explicit images or videos to anyone.

It is important for parents to be proactive when it comes to educating their children about the dangers of sharing information online. They should ensure that their children understand the consequences of sharing such information and that they are aware of the risks associated with it. Parents should also remind their children that once something is posted online, it can never be taken back and that there is always a risk that someone else could access it.

Discussing Online Safety

When discussing online safety with children, parents should explain why certain websites or applications may be dangerous for them to use. They should also discuss what types of information they should never share online such as passwords, credit card numbers, or other sensitive data. Additionally, parents should explain why it is important to think before posting something online and why they should not accept friend requests from strangers or post anything inappropriate.

Teaching Digital Citizenship

In addition to discussing the dangers of sharing information online, parents should also teach their children about digital citizenship. This includes teaching them about how to act responsibly while using technology and how to recognize cyberbullying and other forms of digital harassment. Parents should emphasize the importance of treating others with respect online and explain why it is important to report any suspicious activity or messages immediately.

By educating their children on the potential risks associated with sharing information online, parents can help protect them from becoming victims of sextortion or other forms of cybercrime. Teaching digital citizenship can also help ensure that their children have a positive experience while using technology and are better able to recognize potentially dangerous situations before they occur.

Contact Law Enforcement Immediately if Sextortion is Suspected

If a parent or guardian suspects that their child has been the victim of sextortion, it is important to contact law enforcement as soon as possible. Sextortion is illegal and can have serious implications for the victim, especially if the perpetrator is an adult. It is important to provide law enforcement with any evidence that may be available, such as screenshots of conversations or images.

In addition to contacting law enforcement, parents should also contact their local Department of Social Services or Child Protective Services for assistance. They can provide resources and guidance on how to best protect the child and ensure that they receive the necessary support during this difficult time.

Reporting Sextortion

When reporting sextortion, it is important to provide law enforcement with all relevant information about the incident. This includes details about the perpetrator (if known), any evidence collected, and any other information that may be useful in helping to identify them. Additionally, parents should make sure to keep copies of all messages and images exchanged between their child and the perpetrator.

It is also important for parents to remember that they are not alone in dealing with this situation. There are many organizations available that can provide support and guidance throughout the process of reporting sextortion. These include online support groups, crisis hotlines, counseling services, and legal aid organizations.

Legal Action

Once law enforcement has been contacted, they will investigate the case and determine whether legal action needs to be taken against the perpetrator. Depending on the severity of the crime, they may pursue criminal charges or civil action against them. In some cases, they may even recommend seeking a restraining order against them if necessary.

No matter what type of legal action is pursued, it is important for parents to understand that taking legal action can be a long and difficult process. It is important for them to remain patient throughout this process so that justice can be served in a timely manner.

Help children understand importance of healthy relationships, boundaries, and communication; learn about risks of unhealthy sexual behavior; develop self-respect and healthy boundaries; gain knowledge on consent, respect, communication, and power dynamics of sex; and access resources to make informed decisions about sexual health.

Healthy Sexuality Group Program

The Healthy Sexuality Group Program is a great way to help children and teens understand the importance of healthy relationships, boundaries, and communication. This program allows for open dialogue between participants and facilitators in a safe and supportive environment. It can be beneficial for young people to learn about the impact of unhealthy sexual behavior on relationships, as well as how to protect themselves from online predators. The program also helps children to develop self-respect and healthy boundaries with peers, family members, and intimate partners.


The goals of this program are to provide education on healthy sexuality topics such as consent, respect, boundary setting, communication skills, relationships dynamics, and understanding the power dynamics of sex. Additionally, it encourages participants to become proactive in their own safety by learning how to recognize potential risks online or in real life situations.


The Healthy Sexuality Group Program typically consists of 12-16 sessions that are held over a period of six months. Sessions may include group discussions, role playing activities, case studies, video presentations, or other interactive activities. Participants will also have access to resources that can help them make informed decisions about their sexual health.

Young adults are more likely to engage in STP, with increased frequency of use, more positive attitudes, and greater perceived benefits.

Comprehensive program of individual, family and group therapy helps victims of sextortion heal and become more informed about online safety.

Outpatient SIBR Program

The Outpatient SIBR Program is a comprehensive program that includes both individual and family therapy. The goal of the program is to help children, adolescents, and adults who have been victims of sextortion or other forms of online exploitation.

Individual Therapy

Individual therapy sessions are designed to help the victim process the trauma they have experienced, as well as to develop coping skills to manage their emotions. During these sessions, the therapist will also provide education on healthy sexuality and discuss the dangers of sharing information online.

Family Therapy

Family therapy sessions are geared towards helping families address any issues that may have contributed to the sextortion incident. This includes helping parents understand their role in preventing such incidents from happening again in the future. Additionally, family therapy helps build stronger relationships between family members by providing a safe space for open discussion and emotional support.

Group Sessions

Group sessions are an important part of the Outpatient SIBR Program. These sessions provide an opportunity for victims to share their experiences with others who have gone through a similar situation. Group sessions also serve as a platform for education about healthy sexuality and how to protect oneself online.

The Outpatient SIBR Program is an effective way to help those affected by sextortion or other forms of online exploitation heal and move forward with their lives. Through individual, family, and group therapy sessions, victims can learn how to cope with their trauma, build healthier relationships with their families, and become more informed about protecting themselves online.