Being Blackmailed

It can make you feel powerless when someone’s trying to blackmail you, but we’re here to help.

Blackmail is when someone threatens to share things about you if you don’t do what they say. They might use an image or video you’ve shared, your sexuality or gender identity, or anything else you’re keeping secret.

Whatever someone is using against you, blackmail is a type of abuse and it’s against the law.

If someone’s threatening you, it’s important to:

  • Stop responding
    Don’t reply to messages or demands, and don’t try to negotiate. It can help to turn off notifications as well to give you a break. Take a deep breath before doing anything.
  • Tell someone
    There’s always support if someone is blackmailing you. Talking to an adult you trust can help you feel less alone. You can get help by reporting it to CEOP and talking to a Childline Counsellor as well.
  • Save any messages
    Screenshot messages or save them on your phone. This can help act as evidence if you tell someone.
  • Get help to stop images being shared
    If you’re under 18, you can use Report Remove to confidentially report sexual images or videos of yourself, to see if they can be removed from the internet.
  • Let go of the guilt
    Being blackmailed can happen to anyone, no matter how old they are. It’s not your fault, and you deserve support. If you’re feeling overwhelmed, it can help to use the Calm zone.

Want help, but scared to tell anyone? Childline is confidential, so you can talk to us without other people finding out. Find out more about our confidentiality promise.