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Qtalk: My ex is blackmailing me. What can I do?

LGBTQ+ Nigerians benefit from the support provided by volunteer counselors via the Qtalk app, which is supported by this site and by the St. Paul’s Foundation for International Reconciliation.

Ade, a 29-year-old Nigerian bisexual man, reached out on the Qtalk app to address a distressing situation. He found himself entangled in a complex web of emotional manipulation and threats from an ex-partner, who was threatening to expose an intimate video if Ade decided to end their sexual relationship.

In this article, Ade’s real name is replaced with a pseudonym for his protection.

Ade’s started the conversation by writing:

“I can’t believe this is happening to me. I am being blackmailed by someone I had sex with. He wants to release our sexual video if I stop having sex with him. I am pursuing a relationship with someone, and I don’t want to cheat on this guy. Please, how can I get out of this mess?”

His Qtalk counselor began by acknowledging Ade’s distress and fear. The counselor provided a safe space for Ade to express his feelings and assured him that seeking help was a positive step.

The counselor informed Ade about legal avenues to address the blackmail, emphasizing the importance of documenting evidence and reporting the incident to local authorities. Ade was encouraged to seek legal advice tailored to his jurisdiction to understand his rights and potential courses of action. [Despite the risks of going to the police with a complaint involving same-sex conduct that is illegal in Nigeria, local LGBT-friendly lawyers sometimes can find safe ways to involve local authorities.]

Recognizing the importance of a support system, the counselor discussed the possibility of confiding in close friends, family, or trusted individuals who could offer emotional support during this challenging time. Ade was encouraged to share his experience with those who could assist without judgment.

The counseling session also focused on empowering Ade to establish clear boundaries with his ex-partner. Strategies for effective communication and asserting one’s rights in the face of manipulation were discussed, helping Ade regain control of the situation.

To address the emotional toll of the situation, the counselor and Ade explored coping mechanisms and self-care strategies. Ade was encouraged to prioritize his mental health and seek professional counseling to navigate the psychological impact of the blackmail.

Ade expressed his desire to pursue a healthy relationship with someone new. The counselor guided him in developing open communication with his potential partner, explaining the situation, and building trust.

The counseling session with Ade focused on empowering him to confront the challenges posed by the blackmail. By providing emotional support, legal guidance, and strategies for healthy relationships, the counseling aimed to help Ade navigate this difficult situation and reclaim control over his life.

Source: African Human Rights Media Network member Erasing 76 Crimes.

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