Cyber Violence is termed as an online behavior that comprises of or leads to assault against the well-being (physical psychological, emotional) of an individual or a group. What distinguishes cyber violence from traditional off-line forms of violence is that in the former case, some good portion of the behavior takes place online, although it might then carry over into offline contexts. Cyber violence therefore may, but need not, have a physical component, and much of the harm caused by cyber violence-as indeed by offline violence-is psychological and/or emotional (which isn’t to mention less real or destructive). Finally, cyber violence could also be targeted at individuals or groups, the latter being more characteristic targets of cyber violence than of offline, physical violence, thanks to the convenience with which one perpetrator can collect information about and make contact with large numbers of individuals on the internet. This is often another aspect of online violence which will cause it to possess widespread effects.
Examples of Cyber Violence
- These include cheap (mean) text messages or emails, rumors sent by email or posted on social networking sites, and embarrassing pictures, videos, websites, or fake profiles. Most people that are bullied online are also bullied in person.
- It involves the bully sending offensive and malicious messages to a private individual or a group and is often repeated multiple times. Cyber-stalking is another form of harassment that involves continual threatening and rude messages, and can lead to physical harassment within the real, offline world.
Cyber Violence Against Women
The increasing reach of the web , the vast spread of mobile information, and the widespread use of social media, has led to the emergence of cyber violence against women and girls as an increasing global problem with potentially significant economic and societal consequences. Cyber violence is just as damaging to women as physical violence, consistent with a replacement U.N. report, “Women are more likely to be victims of severe sorts of cyber violence than men and therefore the impact on their lives is way more traumatic”, Experts often warn us to not consider cyber violence as a separate phenomenon to real-world (offline) forms of violence. Women and girls who have experienced sexual harassment, stalking or violence from an intimate partner ‘offline’ are often the victims of ‘online’ violence from the same person. As with all types of violence, cyber violence affects the lives of victims tremendously(used in negative sense) and comes in many forms. Cyber stalking, for example, refers to a person repeatedly sending unwanted mails or text messages to their victims. Cyber harassment relates to offending a person online with unwanted and sexually explicit messages, threats of violence or hate speech. One of the foremost disturbing forms of online violence is non- consensual pornography, which former partners often commit. This means posting or distributing sexually explicit graphic images or videos online without a person’s permission. Research revealed that up to 90 % of non-consensual pornography victims are women and therefore the number of cases of cyber harrasment is rising.
Like all forms of bullying, cyber-bullying causes psychological, emotional, social and physical anxiety. Each person’s response to being bullied is unique, but research has shown some general tendencies. It is reported that children and youth who are bullied have a higher risk of depression and anxiety.
Cyber violence, is often motivated (used in negative sense) by anger, revenge and/or frustration. Sometimes it’s done for the sake of entertainment or because they are bored and have too much free time and due to the availability of many tech toys to them. Many do it for fun or to urge a reaction. Depending upon the acts and motives of the bully, there are often legal consequences consistent with iKeepSafe.org, both civil lawsuits and criminal charges can be brought against the bullies. These charges can include acts of harassment, intentional infliction of emotional pain, negligence and vicarious liability. The penalties for cyberbullying depend on the state and laws applicable, sanctions could range anywhere from civil penalties, like school intervention via suspensions and/or expulsions, to jail term for criminal misdemeanors.
Steps to be taken immediately
- Do not answer and do not forward cyberbullying messages.
- Keep evidence of cyberbullying. Do record the dates, times, and descriptions of instances when cyberbullying has occurred. Save and print screenshots, emails, and text messages. (whatever the case may be)
- Immediately block the person who is cyberbullying.