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HARASSMENT

CYBER HARASSMENT

If you are a woman and you own a smartphone with an Internet connection, there is 50% chance that someone has sent you a naked picture of their crotch, even if you never wanted to receive it. And it is almost 100% certain that you put the phone away in disgust. 

Unsolicited pictures of reproductive organs may be considered a form of cyber harassment. 

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Cyber harassment is a harassment via e-mail, text, or other online means of communication. It may have many forms: 

  • e-mails, texts, or online messages with sexual subtext which bother the recipient, 

  • inappropriate or insulting propositions on social networks or in chatrooms, 

  • physical or sexual violence threats via e-mails, texts, or online messages, 

  • hate speech – usage of language that slanders, insults, or threatens someone, based on their sex, race, religion, or sexual orientation

According to a survey from the European Union Agency for Fundamental Rights (FRA), the extent of the cyber harassment in Slovakia is the highest in the entire European Union: 

 

Nearly 13% of women living in Slovakia experienced some form of cyber harassment in the 12 months prior to the interview. The EU average is 5%. 
 

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A survey conducted by the Research Institute of Child Psychology and Pathopsychology in Bratislava shows that 37.0% of girls and 22.0% of boys have experienced sexual advances and comments on the internet. 

36.4% of girls and 14.9% of boys experienced being persuaded or forced to send a photo or video to someone on the Internet, and 25.9% of girls and 16.3% of boys report having experienced sexual harassment on the Internet.

STALKING

Stalking is repetitive, unsolicited, systematic, long-term harassment with unsolicited text messages, e-mails, various forms of chats, phone calls, unwanted attention, other forms of targeting online, or even physical following. It reduces quality of life and threatens the victim’s security. 

“Why don’t you just block him/her?“

Stalkers usually do not stop after the first blocking. They keep creating new accounts or contact the victim at sites where it is impossible to block them. 

There was a case where a stalker sent his victim hundreds of e-mails and text messages, and when that didn’t work, he sent one cent to her bank account and put his message into the “message for recipient” box.

Stalking may be very traumatizing. It may worsen one’s sleep, cause nightmares, depression, or make one feel they do not have control over their life anymore. These reactions are natural. Confiding to friends or family may help.
 
Eight per cent of Slovak women older than 15 have experienced a form of cyber stalking, while the European average is 5%.

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WHAT TO DO?


SAVE EVERYTHING.


Many people, naturally, tend to delete emails, texts, or messages they get. We recommend you do the opposite. You should save everything or make screen shots and put them in a folder. You may need them later.


REPORT IT.

 

Please know that both stalking, and harassment may be considered criminal offences. If you are even a little bit worried about your security or the security of people close to you, please do not wait or hesitate and contact the police immediately.

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