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Cyber Harassment: Its Forms and Perpetrators

NCJ Number
Law Enforcement Technology Volume: 33 Issue: 4 Dated: April 2006 Pages: 26,28,30
Christa Miller
Date Published
April 2006
3 pages
This article describes cyber harassment and its perpetrators.
Cyber harassment generally takes two forms: cyber stalking and cyber bullying. Cyber stalking is similar to offline stalking in that the motive is usually control and involves the perpetrator forcefully injecting themselves into the lives of their victims. Cyber stalking can take different forms, which are described and include threatening e-mails, spamming the victim, and live chat harassment. Cyber bullying is different than cyber stalking in that it usually occurs between minors and it takes on a more subtle quality. Forms of cyber bullying are described and include instant or text messaging harassment, password stealing, and digital pictures. While some forms of cyber bullying are less serious and do not actually involve a criminal act, other forms of cyber bullying can become quite dangerous and place victims in real danger. For example, cyber bullying by proxy involves a bully pretending to be the victim, which can lead to real danger if the bully posts the victim’s name and address on a pedophiles bulletin board. Four types of cyber bullies have been identified: (1) vengeful angels; (2) revenge of the nerds; (3) mean girls; and (4) inadvertent cyber bullies. Cyber bullying and cyber stalking will likely only become bigger problems as technology continues to advance. Law enforcement agencies are advised to be diligent, proactive, and innovative in their response.


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