What to do if your partner blackmails you
Shutterstock/arda savasciogullari

What to do if your partner blackmails you

‘Change the way you dress up or I will break-up with you’. ‘Call me or I will reveal your sex chats to everyone’. ‘Have sex with me or I will put your nudes online’. If you have been in a similar situation, being blackmailed in a relationship, here is what you can do.
  1. First of all, know that it’s not your fault that you are being blackmailed by your partner. You did not do anything wrong in the relationship and your partner him(/ her) self is responsible for their blackmailing tendencies.


  1. The response to being blackmailed could vary from calling it out to your partner or reaching out to a friend or confidante for advice on how to act.


  1. In situations where it is possible, distancing yourself and cutting off contact from the partner who is blackmailing you could be a response. Though, it is understandable that it might not be feasible to do this in every situation because it involves two partners and a relationship of emotional involvement.


  1. If you are unable to call out the blackmail for what it is as you are confused, reaching out to a trusted colleague, relative or friend or even a therapist or professional counsellor (where financially possible) could be another course of action.


  1. Try not to be afraid and think through your course of action. Blackmailing is a crime in India and you must take legal help, if required. If you are a man, call the police at 100 to seek help. If you are a woman, you can call at Women’s Helpline number - 1091 so that they can also initiate action against the person. 


  1. A situation that you feel demands legal intervention should be taken in that direction, despite the emotional (and/ or financial) difficulty in executing such action against your partner. You can go to your nearest police station to register the FIR against him/her.


  1. India’s legal system has provisions that can be applied in combination to prosecute a blackmailing partner for various forms of blackmail. Some of these sections are those related to criminal intimidation (Section 503 and 506), extortion (Section 386), and relevant sections of the IT Act related to violation of privacy (Section 66E).  


  1. If you are a minor then the provisions of The Protection of Children From Sexual Offences Act, 2012 is also attracted.


  1. If the police officer does not register an FIR against the accused then you can write an application to SSP/Commissioner of the Police District to registered the case. If he does not take appropriate action you can reach out to the Court of Judicial Magistrate by engaging a lawyer.


  1. Never take matters into your own hands. No matter how angry, annoyed, frustrated you feel – do not try to harm the person on your own for the sake of revenge. By attempting to harm the blackmailer, you can get yourself involved in criminal activity and it may lower your chances of receiving justice.


Remember a blackmailer only holds any power until you fear the threats he has made. Overcoming the fear and finding ways to share it with a trusted person will help remove the root cause for why your blackmailer/partner is able to blackmail you.

For example, if your partner has threatened to leak you pictures, be brave and approach a friend, counsellor or even the police. Once a third party is involved, there is little chance of your partner leaking the pictures because they will be immediately held responsible for a criminal activity. The biggest challenge thus lies in fighting our fears and not allow the partner to take control of an adverse situation.

*To protect the identity, names have been changed and the person/s in the picture is/are models.

Have you ever been blackmailed? What action did you take? Share with Love Matters (LM) on our Facebook page. If you have a specific question, please ask LM experts on our discussion forum.

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