What You Should Do If Someone Threatens to Leak Your Nudes

Written by Nwafor Thelma

Nwafor Thelma is an avid law student who enjoys reading, traveling and most importantly, writing. Thelma writes mostly on personal life, people generally, and entertainment . She loves adventure and she loves to explore new things. She also finds delights in watching football. When she is not writing, she is researching to gain more knowledge. Thelma believes that the world will be a better place if everyone communicates through writing.

May 2, 2022

Photos of someone who is fully or partially naked are known as nudes. Things can go wrong after you’ve shared photographs with someone you trust. The person to whom you sent them may threaten to post these images of you online out of rage or for another reason, or they may be distributed to friends.

In other cases, the wrong person might get their hands on your photos and try to blackmail you this is sometimes referred to as “sextortion” and is illegal. 

In 2021, a certain Zangina was caught in Keffi after allegedly blackmailing a minor threatening to release her nudes unless she come to Keffi to have sex with him.

Nude leaking is a type of ‘image-based sexual abuse’ known as revenge porn (legal term). This is a problem that affects people of all ages. However, incidences involving teenagers to people in their mid-twenties have been the most frequently recorded.

So here is what to do if someone threatens to leak your nudes. Before we get into that, one piece of advice to avoid all of this inconvenience is to never, ever post your nude. A relationship does not guarantee a lifetime of happiness, which is why you should never trust anyone with your naked photo. A failed relationship can lead to unstable behavior, and revealing your nude may be part of the deal.

What to Do If Someone Threatens to Leak Your Nudes

1. Do Not Blame Yourself

The first thought that comes to mind is to blame yourself for sending the nudes, but that isn’t fair. Just because you send someone a nude doesn’t mean they have your permission to share it. You put your faith in them to keep your personal information private. They betrayed your trust and put you in a dangerous position. Remember that ‘image-based abuse’ refers to sharing (or threatening to share) someone’s photos or videos without their permission. It’s a very serious problem. It’s not your fault, and you’re not alone.

2. Screenshot Proof or Record of Evidence

What to do if someone threatens to leak your nudes is to get proof either by a way of screenshot or by recording. If you are threatened, this is something you must do immediately. When something like this happens, it’s easy to want to forget about it and go on, but screenshotting the threat can provide documentation of the abuse and be valuable if you need to report it or take legal action against the individual who threatened you.

Make a list of as much information as you can on the threat (or threats). If you’ve been threatened by text messages, make sure to grab screenshots as proof.

Take down the name and contact information of everyone who overheard or witnessed the individual threatening you. If you chose to pursue legal action, they could be a witness.

3. Tell a Trusted Adult or a Friend

If you have someone in your life that you completely trust, you should inform them. We understand that you may be concerned about being judged or having rumors spread about you. However, talking about it is the most effective way to safeguard your mental health and find a solution. They may be able to refer you to the most trustworthy adult in your life who can empathize, be nonjudgmental, and help you through this difficult time.

4. Report to the Police or NGO

Another thing to do when someone threatens to leak your nudes is to report it to the police or NGO. If someone is blackmailing you by demanding money, sex, or anything else, you should contact the authorities right away and provide evidence of the blackmail. The police, on the other hand, may treat the issue with impunity, which is why you should seek out an NGO willing to take up the case.

Some NGOs that deal with this issue in the North include:

1. House of Hilkiah Foundation: An NGO based in Markurdi Benue dedicated to the promotion of human welfare and social reforms

2. Goal Prime Organization Nigeria: It is located in Maiduguri and strives to make life easier for vulnerable women.

3. Sexual Awareness and Response Initiative: This NGO is located in Abuja and they deal with any form of sexual abuse which including when someone is threatening to leak your nudes which is an act of image-based sexual abuse.

You can also call these Police hotline numbers if you’re faced with blackmail;

  • 1. Adamawa: 08089671313
  • 2. Kano: 08123821575, 08032419754
  • 3. Kaduna: 08123822284
  • 4. Katsina: 08075391255, 08075391250
  • 5. Zamfara: 08106580123
  • 6. Abuja: 08032003913

Blackmail is always handled as a criminal violation so you have the option of hiring a lawyer to help you deal with the threat. If there is so much value associated with the nude that you risk losing your reputation, then you must take this step.

If the person is unknown, you may need to hire a private investigator, which will be more expensive. Again, if found, the offender is likely to face jail time and may even be forced to compensate you for your losses.

In Nigeria, there have been numerous internet revenge porn cases, particularly in recent years of internet upheaval. The Nigerian enactments covering the subject of revenge porn are the Criminal Code Statute and the Cyber-crimes (Prohibition, Prevention) Act 2015, but the cybercrimes act covers the issue comprehensively, particularly in Section 24 Paragraph B, which specifies the penalty, which is a fine of not more than 7 million Naira or imprisonment for a term, not more than 3 years, or both.  

From the foregoing, the Nigerian legislation prohibits sharing of such contents without the consent of the other person captured on it, the legislation that pertains close to the matter of revenge porn has covered the area fully. It can be confidently argued that under Section 24 of CYBERCRIMES (prohibition, Prevention Act 2015), revenge porn is a punishable offense so if anyone threatens to leak your nude you are covered by this section.

Should I Talk to the Person?

You might feel compelled to respond to the person who is threatening you right away and beg them to stop. Keep in mind that each circumstance is unique. If the individual who is threatening you is a stranger, you should report them rather than respond.

If the individual is an ex or someone you know, consider what you might gain from speaking with them. You are free to approach them and ask them to stop or remove the photograph if you feel safe doing so. However, you should not feel obligated to do so; you can simply report it without contacting them personally. 

Conclusion

The problem that victims of revenge porn have is that they are unable to disclose such cases to the appropriate authorities because they are afraid of being judged and ridiculed in public. When confronted with such problems and the images or files being spread online, the police should be alerted or legal advice sought on the next course of action.

Many revenge porn incidents have been recorded as a result of the widespread use of social media in this day and time, but only a few people are aware of how to combat this threat.

Because the world is changing on a daily basis, regulations should be enacted to keep up. These provisions should be re-evaluated by legislators to ensure that they are still relevant. Let me know if any of these helped in the comments.

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