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Friday, June 13, 2008

2007 Cyberbully/Online Predator Survey Results

(it's a shame no media has even bothered to contact me about these or the 2007 cyberstalking statistics, considering they are the latest ones available)

Press Contacts:
Jayne Hitchcock,
President of WHOA
whoa@haltabuse.org

Dee Andersson
WHOA PR
whoapr@haltabuse.org
WHOA Press Release #2008-7


For Immediate Release

WHOA-KIDS/TEENS DIVISION
DISCLOSES RESULTS OF 2007 SURVEY

395 School Students Participate in Online Bullying and Predators Experiences

May, 2008 – Working to Halt Online Abuse-Kids/Teens Division (WHOA-KTD) was founded in 2005 in response to a rapidly expanding need for organized safety groups that would specifically focus on the needs of children and teens who are victimized and taken advantage of every day on the Internet. WHOA-KTD is a subsidiary division of Working to Halt Online Abuse (WHOA), which is the oldest and largest all-volunteer online safety organization. WHOA has been continuously helping adult victims of cyberstalking since 1997 and remains the only online organization to date to provide the most up-to-date cyberstalking statistics and cumulative trends.

WHOA-KTD offers sincere appreciation to the 395 students from Southern Aroostook Community School, SeDoMoCha Middle School and Foxcroft Academy in Maine, for participating in the Online Bullying and Predators Survey that was conducted. The results of this project may help to pinpoint areas that need more dedicated safety education to keep future students safe while they are online:

 28% of students have been cyberbullied
 Just over half tell their parents or another adult about it
 65% reported the cyberbullying was via IM, followed by email, Myspace, chat rooms and online games
 43% were cyberbullied by someone their age or in the same grade
 Of the students who did not report the cyberbullying, 25% felt it wasn’t a big problem or didn’t want to make a big deal out of it
 30% blocked or deleted the cyberbully, while 16% ignored them

The study was made up of 193 males and 202 females who ranged in ages from 11 to 19 years old and were spread out in grades six through twelve. Surprisingly, 54 students admitted they had bullied somebody online themselves. When questioned if they had ever been contacted by a stranger while they were online, 165 said yes. That contact was facilitated via IM (AOL, MSN, Yahoo, ICQ, or other), followed by Myspace or Chat (AOL, Yahoo or other), Email and online gaming web sites. To a lesser degree, contact was also made through eBay or other auction sites, text messages/SMS, websites, blogs and Xanga.

Comments below were made by 11 year olds who attended an assembly presented by WHOA-KTD president Jayne A. Hitchcock, who talked about how kids and teens can stay safer online. These comments underscore the value of the WHOA-KTD project, emphasizing how important it is to educate them about how they present themselves on the Internet and how to be safer:

• I thought your presentation inspired a lot of us not to talk to strangers online. It was awesome!
• I love that you’re doing this. It’s so good. I love that you’re helping. Keep up the good work.
• That assembly was helpful. I didn’t know there was such a thing as cyberbullying.
• I like the assembly. Very interesting.
• I like the assembly because I learned how to block strangers.

Jayne A. Hitchcock is a cyber crime expert who trains law enforcement from the local to federal level, and assists the US Department of Justice Office (USDJO) for Victims of Crime and National Center for Victims of Crime. She trains advocate groups, conducts seminars, raises awareness of cyber crime and harassment and lectures educators, librarians, parents and students at middle schools, high schools, colleges and universities about the dangers of bullies, predators, stalkers and online social networking sites. She has appeared as an expert in various media, including America’s Most Wanted, PEOPLE magazine, Primetime Thursday with Diane Sawyer, TIME magazine, the Associated Press, The Montel Williams Show, A&E’s Investigative Reports, 48 Hours, Ladies Home Journal, Campus Security Reports, Inside Edition, Good Morning America and CNN. Her latest book, Net Crimes & Misdemeanors 2nd edition (netcrimes.net), highlights online crimes, how to be safer online and what to do if you are victimized. Video Professor recently released a 3-CD tutorial based on the book.

To interview Hitchcock, please contact her via email whoa@haltabuse.org. Statistics may be quoted in media and on web sites with appropriate recognition to WHOA. To learn more about WHOA, or if you know someone who needs help, please visit www.haltabuse.org.

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