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Cyberbullying on the rise; new nonprofit aims to help victims

Posted: April 3, 2014 |   Comments

( Cyber-harassment and cyberstalking, where people harass and stalk others using the internet, have been on the rise. According to a Harvard University study, about 25 percent of stalking incidents involving female college students could be classified as cyberstalking. The Los Angeles District Attorney's office extimates that 20 percent of the cases handled by its Stalking and Threat Assessment Unit involve email or other electronic communication. Around 40 percent of the cases handled by the New York City Police Department's Computer Investigations and Technology Unit involve electronic threats and harassment. And, although one major internet service provider received practically zero cyberstalking complaints just a couple of years ago, it now reports receiving 15 such complaints per month.

Women, children, those new to the internet and the emotionally unstable are the most common targets of cyber-harassment. To combat this growing mental and emotional health threat, founded, a nonprofit corporation whose purpose is to "spearhead an effort to increase public recognition of cyberbullying and online harassment." They also offer resources to help victims recover from cyber-harassment, reclaim their online identity and prevent future attacks.

One former victim of cyberstalking is Robin Savage. A few years ago, Savage made the mistake of dating someone who should have set off red flags from the beginning, as he was constantly texting her things like "Where are you now?" and "Why didn't you answer my text right away?" as well as treating waiters with verbal abuse. Two years after Savage left the unhealthy relationship, a long-time friend notified her that she was on a "hate site." When she looked up the website, she was shocked by false allegations that she was sexually promiscuous, "had given men Aids" and "was in jail for hurting [her] sons." She provided proof to the hate site and Google that the allegations were false, but to no avail; the negative report followed Robin for years, inflicting untold emotional pain and leading her to abandon her family and live in her car in desperation as she was unable to find work.

A lawyer at read a report of Robin's experience in Forbes and decided to help. was thus created, and Robin has been receiving assistance to fix her online reputation and get her life back to normal. "I'm so thankful," she says. "This has helped show me that my purpose could be positive, a gift instead of a tragedy."

If you or someone you know has been the victim of cyberbullying, or would like to learn ways to prevent it, you can visit's "Tools and Resources" page. If you have been attacked, you can visit the Cyber Bullying Forum to share your story. You can also report a cyberbully here.

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