Latest Cyberstalking Statistics Released
Working to Halt Online Abuse (WHOA at www.haltabuse.org) announced today its cyberstalking statistics for 2002. Victims who come to WHOA for help fill out a questionnaire which has voluntary information at the end that includes location, age, gender and race (see http://www.haltabuse.org/help/question.shtml). WHOA averages 50-100 cases per week, but only 218 victims filled out the questionnaire completely in 2002, which were used to compile the latest cyberstalking statistics.
WHOA found that most of the statistics for 2002 were similar to the previous two years (2001 and 2000, when they began compiling the statistics). For example, just over half of the victims all three years were 18-30 years old and 52-68% were harassed by males. Fifty-nine percent of the victims had prior contact with their harassers in 2002, up 10 percent from 2001 statistics. All three years saw e-mail as the primary way the cyberstalking began, whether the victim and cyberstalker previously encountered each other in a chat room, newsgroup, forum, instant messaging or elsewhere online.
“The most surprising thing we’ve seen is the rise in female cyberstalkers – this increased from 27% in 2000 to 32.5% in 2001 to 35% in 2002,” says Jayne A. Hitchcock, president of WHOA. “We’ve also had more men come to us for help, jumping from 17% in both 2000 and 2001 to 35% in 2002.”
More statistics, including location of victim and cyberstalker, race, how the cyberstalking began, who the cases were resolved and more are available by e-mailing Hitchcock at firstname.lastname@example.org.
WHOA was founded in 1997 to fight online harassment through educating the general public and law enforcement workers an by empowering cyberstalking victims to become survivors. The agency also recommends voluntary policies to purveyors of online Web sites designed to create welcoming Internet environments for users.
WHOA is the only organization that offers up-to-date cyberstalking statistics, a current list of states with/without cyberstalking or related laws, online and offline safety tips, and much more. WHOA is an all-volunteer organization made up of people from around the world who help online victims. For a complete listing of agency statistics from the years 2000-2001, visit WHOA’s Web site at www.haltabuse.org.
Hitchcock, a cyberstalking victim who joined WHOA in 1997 and was appointed president in 1999, has since become one of the foremost experts in cybercrime. She has been interviewed by dozens of media outlets, and shares her expertise with readers in her recently published book, NET CRIMES & MISDEMEANORS: Outmaneuvering the Spammers, Swindlers, and Stalkers Who Are Targeting You Online (www.netcrimes.net), CyberAge Books (350 pp/trade paper/ISBN 0-910965-57-9/$24.95), available in better bookstores offline and online.
In the book, Hitchcock explains how individuals and business users of the Internet can protect themselves, their children, and their employees from online cheats and predators. She details a broad range of abusive practices, shares victims’ stories (including her own), and shares practical advice on how to handle junk e-mail, privacy invasion, financial scams, cyberstalking, and identity theft. She offers useful tips and techniques and points to the laws, organizations, and Web sites that support victims and helps them fight back.
Hitchcock lectures and trains law enforcement worldwide how to track down online criminals and work with victims; has helped pass related legislation in several states, including Maryland (the first state in the country to pass such a law), Rhode Island, California, New Hampshire and Maine, and offers general lectures to the public about staying safe online.