Blackmailing LGBTQ+ Persons

Last updated on Apr 8, 2022

If anybody threatens to out your identity or sexual orientation and asks for money or anything of value to maintain their silence, they are committing a crime of extortion.1 Even the threat of injuring you in this process would amount to the crime of extortion. For example, if someone asks you for money in exchange for keeping your decision to change your gender identity a secret, then this is a crime of extortion for which you should complain to the police.

In such scenarios, you can get immediate help by calling helplines. You can complain with the police regardless of your sexual orientation or gender identity. You can file an FIR with the police with the help of Section 383 of the Indian Penal Code, 1860.

Blackmailing You for Favors

If anybody threatens to hurt you physically or your reputation in exchange for favors, then it is a crime of blackmail and it is legally recognized as criminal intimidation.2 These favors may be asked from you in exchange for not outing your identity or sexual orientation. Under the law, it will be criminal intimidation only if you are asked to do:

  • Illegal acts such as asking stealing a companies private data etc.
  • Acts which stop you from doing something that you were legally bound to do, like for example, you have filed a case against someone and you are being blackmailed in exchange for ending the case.

You will have to file an FIR with the help of Section 503 of the Indian Penal Code, 1860.

  1. Section 383, Indian Penal Code, 1908.[]
  2. Section 503, Indian Penal Code, 1908.[]

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