***TRIGGER WARNING. THIS EPISODE CONTAINS DETAILS ABOUT TAYLOR'S CHILDHOOD SEXTORITION***
Welcome back for another episode! I’m so excited to have a previous client on for the first time in this podcast’s history.
Taylor is in her junior year of college working towards her nursing degree. In her spare time she works as a consultant for the NCMEC in hopes of bringing a survivor’s voice and point of view on the prevalence and the seriousness of sextortion.
What is sextortion?
It is a new age child exploitation. It’s when a person contacts a child online in hopes to receive monetary gain, sexually explicate content, or eventually meet up for some kind of sexually activity or contact. When it comes to sextortion it is ultimately the fear, manipulation and coercion with the possibility of the offender posting the explicit that they have of that child online.
What was Taylor’s personal experience with this?
She was a freshman in high school, and got a message from a suspicious Facebook account. For at least a couple of days she ignored the messages. Then they told Taylor that they had this information on her and if she didn’t do what they said, they would tell all her friends and family. He asked her for a series of explicit photos and told her that her face needed to be in every one, or he would tell everyone. So being 14 she thought “Absolutely I’m going to take care of this by myself, no one is going to know.”.
After she sent the photos, her friend forced her to go down to the school resource officer. She thought if there was anyone that could help her, it would be him. But he didn't help her, he just told her to ignore it.
This exploitation continued for two more years. She hit a final straw when this person asked her to either make a sex tape of her boyfriend and her for him. She knew that there was no way in hell she was getting someone else involved in this. She sat her boyfriend down and told him everything. He told her she needed to go to someone and convinced her to tell her grandparents, who immediately said to change her phone number.
It was quiet for about a week. Then this man started contacting Taylor’s family members. Taylor hoped everything would just go away. Unfortunately, that didn’t happen. He posted all the photos and videos she sent him. He then started threatening to come to her school, and kill not only her, but also anyone who gets in his way. This is what makes law enforcement get involved.
Finally, after two more years, she gets the call that said “Yeah, we got your guy”. She hit her knees, full on ugly crying. She thought, holy shit, it’s over, it’s really over.
Now Taylor is engaged, and is figuring out who she is. Working with me she’s focusing on her sex life, her body image, and sexual and personal power.
If you’re listening and are going through something similar or know someone who is, the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children’s website is missingkids.org, click on “GET HELP” and from there use the cyber tipline to report this type of abuse. An analyst will reach out to you and start a case if there hasn’t been one started.
Know you’re not alone. It’s so easy to get stuck in those feelings of hopelessness, and feeling like this is going to be the rest of your life, but it won’t be. There are people out there who are willing to help you, you just have to find them.
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