Blackmail is a concept relating to legal and psychological industries, implying a situation of extortion, demands for remuneration, concessions, or other actions of a material and emotional-behavioral nature. In contrast to coercion in the case of blackmail, a person is not simply forced to perform actions to his own detriment, but using threats about disclosing information of a compromising or false nature or in exchange situations (taking hostage, threatening the life or health of loved ones, ruining a corporation, etc.) ).
The breadth of the concept provides a variety of negative consequences for the victim, the calculation of the blackmailer at the same time that the alleged threats are more destructive or unacceptable than the fulfillment of requirements. That is, the option of a favorable outcome of events for the victim is not provided, a person can only choose the least harm. So money is paid off for life, granting privileges for the safety of reputation, saving marriage for the opportunity to see children and other options.
The punishment for blackmail is provided for by all criminal codes and is considered a crime against the person, with various aggravating circumstances. At the same time, the percentage of legal complaints is significantly lower than the number of actual cases, since the victim is usually at a disadvantage and in order to receive legal assistance and protection, one has to talk about material that is being blackmailed. It is the reluctance of publicity or the fear of the blackmailer to fulfill their demands that makes many people cooperate instead of stopping the dialogue and negotiations.
What it is
Blackmail is a desire to take possession of other people's benefits in a formally legal way, when a person seems to voluntarily give the required, but emotionally forced to it. It is in the context of this moment that the actions of the blackmailer are equated with a crime. Usually, the requirements of the blackmailers are excessively high relative to the usual rates of payment and gratitude - such a high price is achieved due to the pressure on the most significant and vulnerable places of the victim.
In the legal framework, blackmail is not considered as a category of crime, but solely as a means of committing it. At the same time, the list of crimes committed with the help of blackmail is quite wide. This may include extortion of material components, coercion to a certain intimate (direct sexual intercourse, photographs and videos of an erotic nature), political (voting for the indicated candidate, promotion of the necessary law) or social behavior (choice of communication, visiting places and activity instead of a person).
Blackmail is always based on ultimatums and manipulations, while having different degrees of manifestation and severity of consequences. Considering this phenomenon to be exclusively a problem of rich people with an unclean reputation, many are mistaken, occasionally also being victims of blackmailers.
In everyday and family situations, examples of blackmail are more than enough. This includes the threat of lovers to commit suicide, if they are thrown, here you can also include the threat to the new passion or the beloved, as in many literary and life stories. Parents blackmail children with their health, each time clutching at their hearts when they do not obey or choose behaviors that do not suit their elders.
Children blackmail parents for leaving home, hunger strikes and criminal activities if they do not provide adequate material support or control too much. Men tend to resort to material blackmail in order to control the behavior of the wife, who is dependent on him in the money issue, while the wives can also play similar games, only from the other side, refusing to have sex, if their whims regarding purchases are not fulfilled.
Such domestic examples rarely come to the appeal to law enforcement agencies and in many families are considered something normal and even a method of education. Options when it goes over the edge and there is a real threat to life can provoke the victim to seek help if she is in destructive relationships for a long time and able to assess reality adequately.
In any variant of the threats, it is worth understanding that the aggressor is counting on the victim’s maximum emotional response, that is, fear. Those cases when the blackmailed person begins to blackmail against the background of the affect in response, can reach an extreme degree of conflict, when both parties fulfill their promises, and there is no true desire to bring harm. So on the threat of the end of life, a person can promise to kill himself in the same way, leading each other, inflating emotional tension, death may occur for both participants, despite the fact that the first wanted a romantic happy relationship, and a second freedom. Starting a similar game, not a single blackmailer wants to fulfill his threats, but only to receive the voiced benefits and only the impulsive behavior of the alleged victim can provoke what he has said.
Types of blackmail
Being a three-dimensional concept, reflecting the compulsory behavior of a person regarding any sphere of life, blackmail can be divided into several types. The most common perception of blackmail is extortion, which involves the transfer of material property to another person at risk to life, reputation, or the health of the person or his relatives. This also includes the disclosure of unwanted information, the publication of provocative photos, intimate videos and correspondence.
Emotional blackmail is the most common variety at the social level of everyday life. This category, unlike extortion, is practically not reflected in the legislation, but it is a big topic in the categories of psychology.
Blackmailing at the emotional level is the brightest and most severe form of manipulative behavior used by loved ones. So a person can threaten to change his attitude (stop loving, helping, talking) or a social role (divorce, leave, commit suicide). Such tendencies are optimally stopped at the initial stage, sometimes the help of a psychotherapist may be needed for this.
Despite the fact that emotional blackmail is not regulated by the law, it can lead to no less sad consequences. Thus, the victim has personal changes (depression, increased level of anxiety, neurosis, panic attacks, pathopsychological states develop). If the situation is not stopped in time, then, in addition to the mental disorders of the victim, the actions of the blackmailer can be aggravated and eventually lead to situations involving criminal liability. Starting with verbal intimidation, blackmailers increase their influence by including physical violence and threats to the victim’s vitality. These actions are considered as physical blackmail.
Blackmail from someone else's name or anonymous is the most difficult from the point of view of stopping attacks, because it is not clear who is the initiator and how you can influence him. Increasingly popular this type gets with the spread of various social networks and other Internet resources, where you can hide your identity, but it is easy to get to the data of the victim.
And the last type of blackmail is life, which happens to those who are beginning to give in and fulfill the requirements of the blackmailer. The problem is that once a person receives the desired, the person will not stop, because the information, data or knowledge, the ability to fulfill the promised threats are still in his hands.
How to behave with a blackmailer
Prevention is always the most effective, so you should figure out how not to become a victim of the blackmailer. To do this, you must be as careful as possible in disseminating your secret information and movement. With the publication of posts in social networks, it is better to avoid any specifics, and in order not to provoke financial blackmailers, it is worth limiting the demonstration of your income.
Ways to respond to blackmail must be chosen in accordance with the situation and the person using this method. If your close people resort to such a technique, trying to prove their feelings either from despair or a dead end of a situation, then one should show maximum tolerance. It will help calm and open conversation about what is happening, it is important to indicate their position and emotions, to say that this is unacceptable and unpleasant for you. You can try to dispel the fears of your loved ones by directly saying what you are not going to do, while it should also indicate that you are not going to change your decision and make concessions to them.
If the situation is heating up, the person already goes into hysterics, then the main thing is to focus on your feelings and try to maintain self-control. It is important that in such a situation at least one of you is not in affect. Unfortunately, to achieve this is not always possible, since the blackmailer skillfully provokes the emergence of the most vivid and negative emotions, putting pressure on sore points. Feeling that you are losing control of yourself, it is optimal to take a pause, ask to transfer the conversation, retire to another room, you can also promise to ask for advice on how best to resolve this situation.
Even when a partner threatens to commit suicide, if you leave him now, you can also take a pause — go to the courtyard to speak with a friend, having indicated the time in advance and being visible or simply closing in another room, warning you to understand yourself in silence. The main task is to take a pause so that the emotions subside from all participants.
In situations of blackmail, both from friends and unknown persons, the main thing is not to succumb to threats. Always abstract from intonation and frightening texts, and while remaining calm, delve into the essence of the blackmailer's demands. It is impossible to give the extortioner in any case, so you just become a hostage to the situation. The best option is to contact the human rights bodies, and only if it is not available for some reason, can you drag out time entering into negotiations.
If the blackmailer promises to spread some information about you, then try to evaluate the criticality of your own confession, because if one person already knows about this, then it is likely that others will find out, and you will not feed all the blackmailers.
Where to go for help
When blackmail goes beyond the family turmoil, often a person does not feel his strength to cope on his own, then it is worthwhile to connect other people. To help resolve this situation can in law enforcement, sometimes with the involvement of psychiatry (by the way, if a person manipulates his life, then it is possible to call an ambulance).
When asking for help from the police, remember that the more evidence you have, the better, because blackmail itself is not a crime, but a way. Keep correspondence, record conversations, take photos - all this will help prove that you are right. After initiation of a criminal case, the police should be notified of any activity of the blackmailer, and their actions should be strictly coordinated with their advice - these may be behaviors, installed security cameras and listening devices, provocative meetings organized to catch the criminal.
Usually after the completion of the operation, the blackmailer receives a very real criminal term in accordance with the legislative framework. Private detective agencies that identify the unknown blackmailer and security organizations that take control of your security can also provide real help and support.
In the option of blackmail from a loved one, you can ask for help from friends and family, because the police are unlikely to understand that the husband forces him to sit at home in the evenings. Better to talk with a blackmailer to involve relatives of his own sex - the husband is more likely to understand the arguments of his wife's brother (or even the counter-threat with demands not to offend), and the wife will rather listen to her mother-in-law's wise advice, which can replace manipulative techniques.
Emotional blackmail arises at the junction of the instability of the victim’s own personality and the aggressor’s accentuation; accordingly, such tasks can be solved by turning to a psychotherapist.