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NCJ Number: 211297 Find in a Library
Title: Online Harassment and Cyberstalking: Victim Access to Crisis, Referral and Support Services in Canada, Concepts and Recommendations
Author(s): Randy McCall
Date Published: May 11, 2004
Page Count: 17
Sponsoring Agency: Victim Assistance Online Resources
Ontario, Canada
Sale Source: Victim Assistance Online Resources
Document: PDF
Type: Issue Overview
Format: Document (Online)
Language: English
Country: Canada
Annotation: After examining the prevalence and impact of online (Internet) harassment and "cyberstalking" in Canada, this paper recommends and discusses ways to manage these cases so victims are effectively served.
Abstract: Online harassment can be divided into direct and indirect harassment. Direct harassment includes threats, bullying, or intimidating messages sent directly to the victim via e-mail or other Internet communications media, and/or through the use of technological means that interfere with a victim's use of the Internet. Indirect harassment includes spreading rumors about the victim in various Internet forums, subscribing the victim to unwanted online services, or sending messages to others in the victim's name. Online harassment becomes "cyberstalking" when repeated unwanted communications persist over time to the extent that victims fear for their personal safety and security, experience chronic anxiety about loss of quality of life, and undergo an erosion of certainty and predictability about what to expect each day. Although there are no precise statistics on the number of online harassment or cyberstalking cases in Canada, this study calculated an estimate of 80,000 female victims and 32,000 male victims annually. The author provides an overview of Canadian laws, policies, and procedures that cover these crimes and notes the lack of victim's ready and immediate access to crisis, support, and referral services. The author recommends the creation of an independent, nonprofit organization that can act as an information clearinghouse and provide reporting, referral, and support services for victims of online harassment and cyberstalking. This organization would have links with law enforcement agencies and commercial Internet service providers. Additional recommendations pertain to actions by law enforcement agencies, Internet service providers, victim advocates, and victims. 30 references
Main Term(s): Victim services
Index Term(s): Anti-stalking laws; Computer related crime; Crime in foreign countries; Psychological victimization effects; Stalkers; Victims in foreign countries
Note: Downloaded September 15, 2005.
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