We have been working on a piece to help other victims of cyber abuse and bullying. We have reached out numerous time to EndCyberabuse.org but they have not responded so they are either innudated with victims and are ignoring them or they have given up trying to help other victims so this work will land on companies like us here at Profile Defenders to defend and protect you against cyber bullies and attackers.
Online abuse is increasingly becoming a serious threat to many individuals, young and old alike. In a world that is constantly changing, more and more people are living part of their lives in the digital realm. Although digital technologies have provided many benefits – offering convenience, quick and affordable communication, facilitating business, among others – it has also made many of us vulnerable to cyber abuse.
Using tablets, computers, and smartphones, unscrupulous individuals have taken to the Internet to harass, humiliate, stalk, and expose vulnerable people. Adults, students, even young children have reported being bullied and shamed through posts, text messages, chats, and images posted online. With cyber abuse becoming a real problem in the world’s societies today, there is a need to impose stringent means to protect targeted individuals and prevent these attacks from becoming prevalent. EndCyberAbuse.org has approached this serious issue and is addressing its symptoms using legal and ethical means.
Battling Cyber Abusers
Cyber abuse refers to any behavior practiced online that is meant to offend, attack, harass, menace, insult, ridicule, or threaten someone. Most abuses are performed using social media, although abuse can also take place in online chats, forums, and message boards. It can also be done using texts and emails. Many forms of cyber abuse utilize images – pictures, screencaps, and videos of targeted individuals to inflict more damage. Considering that images present nearly irrefutable proof of someone’s actions and appearance, they are often considered weapons in waging a deliberate and malicious attack against a target.
EndCyberAbuse.org focuses on promoting Internet safety and user well-being by fighting back at cyber abusers. The organization’s main focus is image-based sexual abuse, which it sees as the most problematic of all types of cyber abuses. According to EndCyberAbuse.org, these images that seek to damage an individual’s reputation is a violation of human rights and an act to perpetuate gender-based violence (GBV).
Why Fighting Cyber Abuse is Critical
Victims of cyber abuse do not only suffer from emotional and mental torment. In many cases, they have to deal with the consequences of another person’s malicious act and suffer for it. Cyber abuse can often lead to the loss of a job or a home, loss of income, separation from family, and even ostracism by friends and social contacts. EndCyberAbuse.org believes that the Internet should be a place for people to express themselves, learn, and communicate without worrying about privacy breaches and emotional harm.
Already, the top 5 cybercrimes of 2020 involved scams, libel, identity theft, illegal access, and voyeurism. Of these, voyeurism also involved the capture and illegal posting and uploading/downloading of sexual images, and gender-based violence, which often used shaming. About 35% of women have been victims of GBV and an estimated 3,000 revenge porn websites are estimated to exist, with specific pages dedicated solely to sharing privately-taken images for whatever purpose.
There is a host of problems associated with cyber abuse. Aside from emotional pain and suffering, victims also find their sense of security and safety shattered. Individuals who become targets of cyber abuse also find themselves becoming victimized over and over again as images and clips of their images are shared and posted from one website to another. Thanks to the prevailing perspective of societies, cyber abuse victims become targets of ridicule and further harassment both online and in real life.
How EndCyberAbuse.org Seeks to Make a Difference
EndCyberAbuse.org was established by a collective of law practitioners, advocates, researchers, and activists worldwide who handle online gender-based violence by bringing to the public’s attention the prevalence and severity of cyber abuse. They do this by raising awareness of past and present offenses, promoting information about the rights of victims, advocating for fair and just treatments of victims, and promoting the development of technology that prevent further harm.
EndCyberAbuse.org’s mission is to help push for safe and equitable technologies and digital platforms that promote fair and safe browsing and interaction, and prevent harassment, violence, and oppression. Their goal is to help fight for the rights of people – men, women, and those who identify as other genders – to ensure that their dignity and reputation are protected.
EndCyberAbuse.org conducts surveys that focus on the experiences of those who were victims of image-based sexual abuse. This endeavor is meant to help the collective and those who want to support the group’s mission to have a deeper understanding of the problem from the victims’ perspective. One such survey was launched recently in India, the result of which will be published soon.
EndCyberAbuse.org also conducts research on the prevailing laws (criminal and civil) that protect victims of cyber abuse in 10 countries. The research seeks to identify absence of rules of law that could render the application of that law ineffective. It also aims to determine the types of problems that victims may have to contend with.
Knowing what works is also at the heart of EndCyberAbuse.org’s research. The organization seeks to identify the most critical components of laws that help address the image-based sexual abuses cases in the most effective ways. These components must be able to provide protection to the victims, implement just penalties to the offenders, address issues that affect both victims and perpetrators, and prevent future offenses. The laws must also meet the needs of the victims for protection and privacy.
Their organization’s website, endcyberabuse.org, is designed to offer other lawyers, activists, advocates, and victims the most recent information about the current laws and regulations in their countries that deal with image-based sexual abuse. The site also offers links to support services that victims of digital harm can turn to for advice and assistance.
Visitors to the website can also view factsheets regarding the current laws in countries such as Bangladesh, India, the Philippines, Japan, Pakistan, Germany, France, Canada, the United States, England and Wales. The factsheets contain information about each country’s specific definition of cyber abuse, its existing legislation, and associated punishment. Information is also available on the gaps in these laws and its remedies. Each country’s good practices are also detailed in the report.
Why Countries Have to Work Together
EndCyberAbuse.org knows that a crime committed online within a specific country does not stay in that country for long. In literally seconds, an illegal image or video taken from a non-consenting victim can be viewed by other people in other countries. In just days, the same image would have circled the globe. By making their services and resources available to the world, the organization hopes to build a network of countries that could work together to put a stop to cyber abuse. Ultimately, by strengthening this network, total protection of victims will be achieved and cyber-based sexual violence will have been eliminated to promote a safer and more secure Internet.
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