Sexual Blackmail Cases Targeting Minors Have Soared By More Than 700% In Lebanon

Sexual Blackmail Cases Targeting Children Have Soared By More Than 700% In Lebanon
Anemone/Pixabay | Al-Joumhouria

Cases of sexual blackmail targeting minors in Lebanon have increased by more than 700% over the past two years, new numbers have revealed.

Lebanon‘s Internal Security Forces (ISF) issued a statement on Tuesday shedding light on “a significant and dangerous increase in the number of complaints about cases of threatening and extortion against minors.”

The sharp rise in these complaints was recorded between 2019 and 2020 via the ISF’s social media and its dedicated “Report” webpage.

The statistics revealed in the statement indicate that 11 sextortion cases involving minors were reported in 2019 — 81.81% involving females and 18.19% involving males.

In 2020, the number jumped to 94 complaints – 80.08% involving females and 19.2% involving males – soaring by a whopping 754% from the previous year.

In light of this dangerous increase, the ISF urged parents to “constantly monitor their children and educate them about the dangers of the Internet in order to protect them from harassers and bullying blackmailers who could communicate with them via social media.”

It also urged parents to teach their children not to accept invitations or friend requests from unknown individuals and accounts, as well as not to take inappropriate pictures or videos of themselves under any circumstance, to avoid falling victim to predators.

Previous statistics also recently released by the ISF pointed to an increase of more than 300% in sexual blackmail complaints across all age groups.

If you are a victim of sexual abuse or know someone who is, there are local organizations that can help. Reach out to: KAFA: +961 3 018 019, Himaya: +961 3 414 964, ABAAD: +961 81 78 81 78