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Working to Halt Online Abuse [WHO@] Released Its 2013 Cyberstalking Statistics

(PRWEB) February 28, 2014

Working to Halt Online Abuse (WHO@; released its 2013 cyberstalking statistics as well as cumulative statistics for the years 2000–2013.

The statistics are gathered from cases victims filed with WHO@ during 2013. The number reflects only those victims who filled out the demographic information, so the number shown is lower than the actual number of victims who came to WHO@ for help.

2013 statistics are based on 256 cases, of which 60% of victims were female and 40% were male, a huge difference from 2012 when 80% of the victims were female and 20% were male.

“With the perceived anonymity online, we are seeing more and more men coming to us for help,” notes WHO@ President Jayne A. Hitchcock. “We also have seen a decrease in male harassers—only 40% in 2013 over 49% in 2012—and an increase in harassers whose gender was unknown, which in 2012 was 20%, but last year increased to 30%.”

Other noted statistics:

Over half had a previous relationship with their harasser. Of those:

        47% were exes

        15% were online acquaintances

        15% were work-related

        14% were family members

        8% were friends/former friends

        1% were neighbors

As in previous years, email was the primary way that the harassment began (30%), closely followed by Facebook, also at 30%; web sites came in at 14% and texting at 8%.

Over three quarters of the cases escalated online, with 25% of the victims getting threats of physical violence. When the cases did escalate, Facebook was number one at 29%, followed by telephone/cell phone calls at 25%, text messages at 24%, Twitter and Google+ at 17% each, email at 16%, and dating and web sites at 15% each.

“We found that most victims called their local police, FBI, or lawyer (51%) when they should have reported the harassment/stalking to the Internet Service Providers, web site hosts, or cell phone app owners instead,” claims Hitchcock. “We ended up resolving almost 70% of the cases from 2013 by contacting the online services involved, with only 28% going to law enforcement or a lawyer.”

The statistics are available on the WHO@ web site at

WHO@ is the oldest online safety organization, formed in February of 1997 by Hitchcock, who was a cyberstalking victim at that time. The organization added the Kids/Teen Division ( in 2005, and Hitchcock speaks to students from kindergarten (yes, that young) to college/university levels.

“The Internet and smartphones are not going away,” Hitchcock claims. “Students, educators, and parents need to know how to keep themselves safer online from bullies, predators, stalkers, trolls, and harassers.”

Hitchcock also trains law enforcement and speaks at conferences and libraries throughout the USA and her newest book, True Crime Online: Shocking Stories of Stalking, Scamming, Murder, and Mayhem ( has stories of online situations gone horribly wrong. For more information, please contact WHO@ President Jayne A. Hitchcock at whoa(at)haltabuse(dot)org.

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