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NCMEC Celebrates Safer Internet Day with New Educational Videos on Sextortion

ALEXANDRIA, Va., Feb. 6, 2024 /PRNewswire/ -- The National Center for Missing & Exploited Children (NCMEC) is joining other organizations across the globe on Feb. 6 to celebrate Safer Internet Day, by empowering children to make safer decisions and educating them about the dangers of sextortion with the release of two new videos. 

Each year, NCMEC receives a staggering number of reports to our CyberTipline. In 2023 alone, the CyberTipline received 36.2 million reports, containing more than 105 million files. 

Of those reports, 186,819 were of online enticement, the category that includes sextortion. This is up from 80,524 reports in 2022 and 44,155 reports in 2021.

Sextortion is a form of child sexual exploitation where children are blackmailed by a person who has obtained nude or sexual images of them. Oftentimes the victim is threatened that their images will be released publicly unless they provide additional sexual content, sexual activity or money. 

"The drastic rise in sextortion reports is alarming," said Stacy Garrett, vice president of Content & Community Engagement at NCMEC. "At the National Center, we hope that Safer Internet Day will serve as a crucial reminder of the collective responsibility we all have to strive for a safer online environment for our children. It's critical that we teach our children how to stay safe online, but also what to do if something goes wrong. NCMEC is here to help."

As part of our stand against sextortion, NCMEC is releasing two new educational videos that showcase different aspects of sextortion.

The first video, 'It is called Sextortion,' demonstrates how sextortion may occur, identifies some red flags, and emphasizes the importance of peers and friends being upstanders for others. 

The second video, 'I am a Survivor of Sextortion,' illustrates some of the strong emotions that minors experiencing sextortion go through that prevent them from reaching out for help. 

Both videos and additional safety content can be accessed on NCMEC's website at https://www.missingkids.org/netsmartz

If a child in your life is a victim of sextortion or has unwanted imagery online, NCMEC's groundbreaking platform, Take It Down, can help them take back control.

Take It Down is a free service that allows users from around the world to submit a report that can help remove online nude, partially nude, or sexually explicit photos and videos depicting a child under 18 years old. Since its inception in December 2022, Take It Down has received over 50,000 reports.

More information on Take It Down and participating platforms can be found here: https://takeitdown.ncmec.org/

For more information on sextortion, you can visit NCMEC's website here: https://www.missingkids.org/sextortion

Since 1984, the National Center for Missing & Exploited Children®, a private non-profit organization, has led the fight to protect children by creating vital services for them and the people who keep them safe. NCMEC believes that every child deserves a safe childhood and as part of its work as the clearinghouse and resource center on issues relating to missing and exploited children, NCMEC operates a hotline, 1-800-THE-LOST® (1-800-843-5678), and has assisted in the recovery of more than 400,000 missing children. NCMEC also operates the CyberTipline®, a mechanism for reporting suspected child sexual exploitation, which has received more than 150 million reports. To learn more about NCMEC, visit www.missingkids.org.