Support and Safety/Support
More often than not online harassment, cyber bullying, online misogyny, cyber violence and cyberstalking are covered by NGOs activity under the general domestic violence, street harassment, violence against women or violence in the workplace umbrella. Most NGOs whose work focuses on the above fields have a section about online harassment or cyberbullying, linking to further resources, information pages and how-to manuals. Few focus on a specific abuse type and they are usually a single-person initiative who's motivated by their own experience of that form of online abuse. This list includes organisations as well as individual initiatives that focus on specific or a variety of online abuses, but it is by no means an exhaustive list.
NGOs and charities
- WHOA (Working to Halt Online Abuse) - Area of coverage: USA/Worldwide
A volunteer organisation that has been active in the fight against harassment since 1997. Their work on is two-fold. On one axis it revolves around raising awareness through education of the general public as well as law enforcement. On a second axis they focus on empowerment of victims. A complementary area of action is policy work on harassment. They seem to offer a full service for victims of online harassment that includes: content of cyberstalking legislation available per location (currently US State-by-State, Australia and India), educational talks, resource centre, forensic resources, private investigator and legal counsel referrals.
- FightCyberstalking - Area of coverage: Worldwide
“FightCyberstalking.org is an online resource site for cyberstalking victims: information on reporting a cyberstalker, online privacy tips, and tips for safer socializing online on social networking sites, such as Twitter, Facebook, Google Plus, and YouTube. FightCyberstalking.org, launched and created in 2010, is and will always be a free online resource site. FCS will never ask to join a newsletter or purchase a thing — all of the information is published free right here on our website to help you.” A free online resource centre for cyberstalking victims, which include a wide range of information. This ranges from advice on how to report a cyberstalker, to tips for online privacy and advice for safe online social networking. They offer specific information and advice per social networking platform that the abuse is experienced through; a unique approach on the website set-up compared to other resource centres. They have been active since 2010 and being a free online resource site
- Digital-Trust - Area of coverage: (UK)
A non-profit organisation, active in the UK. They offer information on various forms of online abuse (revenge porn, dating stalking, cyberstalking in general, trolling), practical tips for securing online accounts, legal news on the front of behavioural online abuse as well as links to other support organisations, including live helplines. They also conduct training sessions in partnership with the UK-endorsed National Cyberskills Centre.
- ETCB (End to Cyberbullying Organisation) - Area of coverage: USA
A non-profit organisation, founded in 2011 by Samuel Lam and David Zhao. They work on ways to combat cyberbullying on all levels. Even though they work with all age groups, they seem to focus a lot on children and teen/youth related cyberbullying, and do a lot of preventative work through schools and parents outreach. They encourage online activism and offer information, advice, statistics, and State-by-State information on cyberbullying-related legislation.
- Civil Nation - Area of coverage: Worldwide
A charitable organisation whose work focuses on action against hostility and adult cyberbullying. They have a strong First Amendment angle on their approach and support free speech in safe online environments. Civil Nation is a wider-scope organisation that promotes online civility through online advocacy. They offer training sessions and cater for multiple disciplines.
- Internet democracy project - Area of coverage: India & South Asia
Online advocacy looking at the bigger picture of modern day technology conflicts. They also have a freedom-of-expression angle on their approach, while it is noteworthy that this initiative is led by females with a collective background on gender activism, female empowerment, documentary filmmaking, internet governance and cybersecurity. Another unique characteristic is that their work is presented via blog style posts. Example posts include topics of gender related censorship, free speech, hate speech, online gendered abuse, misogyny, etc.
- Crash Override Network - Area of coverage: Worldwide
Founded by known gamer Zoe Quinn and Alex Lifschnitz following their own online harassment experience in the gaming communities. They offer a live support services, crisis management, online advocacy as well as a detailed resource centre that offers up-to-date information and tips on various forms of harassment, such as doxing. Even though they may have a strong gamer community background, their work can has cross-platform and cross-community applications. Noteworthy work on abuse mitigation.
- OAPI (Online Abuse Prevention Initiative) - Area of coverage: Worldwide
Brand new non-profit initiative working towards charitable status, founded (and currently still funded) by tech industry specialist Randi Harper, in collaboration with Alex Lifschnitz, Zoe Quinn and Sheri Rubin. They appear to be very promising as they focus on online abuse mitigation though analysis of abuse patterns. Collaboration with key tech companies is mentioned as a further approach towards creating of anti-harassment tools and resources.
- Internet Watch Foundation - Area of coverage: UK/Worldwide
Active since 1996, they were put together by the internet industry as an attempt to provide an all-in-one UK internet Hotline that can be used for confidential reporting of criminal online content. The focus on eliminating child sexual abuse content and obscene adult content that can be considered criminal. To that effect they work closely with with the online industry, law enforcement, local government as well as international partners. Backed by UK government they provide a robust reporting mechanism. They work with EU and worldwide organisations and initiatives such as the Virtual Global Taskforce, INHOPE, Child Rights Connect, etc.
- Stop Online Abuse - Area of coverage: Worldwide
New initiative supported by Galop, leading UK charity against violence and abuse. They work on abuse based on: gender, race, sexual orientation and religion and appear to focus a lot on female or LGBT victims of online abuse, which includes but is not limited to online harassment, stalking revenge porn, or blackmail. They offer a comprehensive resource list, information centre and advice. They present case studies of abuse and the results of their reports. This initiative is backed by seven voluntary organisations in the UK (Womens' Resource Centre, Galop, Transmedia Watch, Rights of Women, Allsorts and Gires - Gender Identity Research and Education Society).
- Freedom from Covert Harassment & Surveillance (FFCHS) - Area of coverage: World
They are a human rights organisation/conference call group advocating for peaceful social change and advocating for victims of organised stalking and remote electronic assaults. They also work on raising awareness through education.
- Wired SAFETY - Area of coverage: North America / Worldwide
Large scale volunteer-run anti-cyberbullying initiative that raises awareness, and offers victim support, training and toolkits. They are one of the oldest online safety and support groups in the world. They have been active since 1995 and their work on website rating has evolved into an extensive information centre addressing privacy and security issues, as well as an education resource for cyberspace users of all ages. They work with multiple end-users (parents, law enforcement, industry, schools, victims, policy makers) and offer a wide range of advice on a proactive level. Their activity is channeled through specialised abuse initiatives such as stopcyberbullying, tweenangels and teenangels, run by volunteers of all ages.
- STOP Cyberbullying - Area of coverage: North America / Worldwide
A division of Wired Safety focusing on cyberbullying. It addresses internet bullying against all ages, though it seems to place a big focus on children and youth in general. The website offers information presented in different ways, depending on the age group the reader belongs to.
- netsafe - Area of coverage: New Zealand
A non-profit acting as major educational advocate for cyber safety as a whole. They target multiple abuses through separate projects, like the National Cyberbullying Taskforce, New Zealand Schools cyber security toolkits, or the consumer advice on smartphone security report. The partner with the government, schools, parents, the industry, education, law enforcement, children and caregivers. They provide text-based preventative advice and how-to guides.
- Hamara Internet - Area of coverage: Pakistan
A campaign by the Digital Rights Foundation, working on raising awareness of the increasing trends of technology-related abuse and advocating for free and safe environment for women to participate. They actively join the fight for women’s rights in Pakistan and present a case studies of women being cyber-harassed. They also offer workshops, technical trainings and dissemination of digital security toolkits.
- Revenge Porn Helpline - Area of coverage: UK
Funded by the Equalities Commission, they provide dedicated and confidential support to all victims of revenge porn in the UK. They are an initiative by the non-profit charitable trust ‘The South West Grid for Learning (SWGfL)’, which provides schools and other establishments with safe, secure, managed and supported connectivity and associated services, learning technologies to improve outcomes, and a toolkit for being safer online.
- Cyber Civil Rights Initiative (CCRI) - Area of coverage: USA
A non-profit organisation founded by Dr Holly Jacobs, whose main focus is work against cyber harassment, on a legal and educational level. They develop individual campaigns of advocacy work targeting specific cyber harassment issues. Their main campaign so far is End Revenge Porn.
- The Anna Kavanaugh Charitable Foundation - Area of coverage: USA
Their aim is change at policy and practice level that may enhance the overall quality of people's life. They do work on multiple types of online abuse, including but not limited to cyber-bullying and harassment, privacy invasion and exploitation, abuse of private information, criminal computer theft, tampering & distribution, illegal access/entry to online accounts, cyber defamation & abuse, suicide intervention for victims of bullying and harassment. Also, through lobbying and organised advocacy they work towards changes in internet governance, aiming at immediate relief to victims of internet defamation, cyber bullying and online harassment or abuse.
- Without My Consent - Area of coverage: USA
A non-profit organisation working against online invasions of privacy. The resources found here are intended to empower individuals to stand up for their privacy rights and inspire meaningful debate about the internet, accountability, free speech, and the serious problem of online invasions of privacy.”
- Cyber Angels - Area of coverage: USA
They are a section of the Guardian Angels charity, and focus a lot on practical advice for keeping hardware and software safe from attack, rather than behavioural issues among internet users. The topic of cyberbullying and harassment is covered with educational/tips material.
- The Everyday Sexism Project - Area of coverage: UK
A collection of testimonials to the sexism experienced on a daily basis by women. The website has a long list of resources for help and support.
- Ditch the Label - Area of coverage: UK
A charity founded by Liam Hackett, after being cyber bullied himself. They have an interesting selection of stories, interviews of celebrities, statistics and research reports that can be easily downloaded, as well as a photography project. A very modern and fresh approach to the issue of cyberbullying, stepping out of the traditional text-heavy approach of most websites.
- The Cybersmile Foundation - Area of coverage: UK
Non-profit organisation, like a few others listed above, fighting the fight against cyberbullying through educational programs, a 24/7 online helpline, blog, and resource centre.
- Cyberstalked - Area of coverage: USA
Blog style website, advocating against cyber harassment.
- Stalking Resource Center, by The National Center for Victims of Crime - Area of coverage: USA / Worldwide
This is the result of the partnership between The National Center for Victims of Crime and the U.S. Department of Justice Office on Violence Against Women. They provide a very well-stocked information centre available in an essay format. They aim to advocate for better support structures for crime victims, including education programmes and training.
- National Center for CyberStalking Research - Area of coverage: UK / World
Created in order to address the need for research in the field of cyberstalking. Not much information can be found about their work outside of their facebook page.
- Stomp Out Bullying - Area of coverage: USA
Initially a programme by Love our Children USA, they focus on bullying prevention as well as the fight against other forms of digital abuse such as sexting. Their target demographic is primarily young internet users and they aim at limiting online violence in schools and other communities.
- UK Safer Internet Center - Area of coverage: UK
An initiative coordinated by a partnership of three organisations: Childnet International, the South West Grid for Learning and the Internet Watch Foundation. It is co-funded by the European Commission's Safer Internet Programme and is one of the 31 Safer Internet Centres of the Insafe network. Their work is threefold: raising awareness, operating a Helpline and maintaining a Hotline. They focus on children’s safety online through an interesting, contemporary website and actively work on shaping policy on issues of cyberbullying.
- Association for Progressive Communications - Area of coverage: Worldwide
A virtual, international organisation/network whose members are spread across the world (50 members in 35 countries) and work towards the same mission as APC.
- Electronic Privacy Information Center - Area of coverage: Worldwide
A research centre based in Washington, DC. focusing on issues of privacy, freedom of speech and public decision making.
- Marie Collins Foundation - Area of coverage: UK
An organisation that aims at improving the quality of support victims of online abuse receive, as well as support their families. It is primarily geared towards children.
- Women’s Aid - Area of coverage: UK
They focus on domestic abuse, but they also work on online harassment, cyberstalking and cyberbullying.
- National Crime Agency Command - Area of coverage: UK
A branch of the National Crime Agency, they work with various partners in order to combat threats to children, including online and offline sexual abuse of children.
- esafety - Area of coverage: Australia
Backed by the Australian government and the office of Children’s eSafety Commissioner, this initiative aims at providing a reporting platform as well as current information and resources. Their target demographic is children and younger internet users.
- Cyberbullying Research Center - Area of coverage: USA
An initiative addressing causes as well as consequences of cyberbullying. The founding members have a criminal justice background and offer a well set-out resource centre, complete with advice and easy to understand terminology. They work closely with schools to explore the nature of traditional and online victimization among their student body. Even though they focus on youth cyberbullying, they also cover adolescent cyberbullying and online harassment.
- NoBullying - Area of coverage: Ireland / Worldwide
A social responsibility project started by Treze Ltd. They work with schools, parents and psychologists/psychiatrists to help fight online bullying and establish a safe experience for young internet users.
- Women against revenge porn (WARP) - Area of coverage: USA/Worldwide
Concentrated effort by Bekah Wells to raise awareness through her own experience of revenge porn. Blog-type of approach that includes legal help referrals. It offers a more practical approach to offering resources.
- Paladin - National Stalking Advocacy Service - Area of coverage: UK
Established in 2013 by Laura Richards, a criminal behavioural analyst and adviser, and Allison Mann, Financial Director of Safer Places, a domestic violence charity. They provide an all-in-one service that includes advice and support for people who are at risk of stalking, training for professionals working on the field of stalking, critique of legislation about stalking and raising awareness about the dangers and risks of stalking.
Campaigns and projects
- Take Back theTech - Area of coverage: Worldwide
A campaign backed by the APC WRP, focusing on violence against women through technology. Their website features text-light information on core online abuses, accompanied by legal rights and ‘how to avoid’ tips. They lead several campaigns with the biggest one taking place during 16 Days of Activism Against Gender-Based Violence.
- Ban Revenge Porn - Area of coverage: UK
A campaign focusing on the legality of revenge porn and how this can be eradicated, in protection of privacy rights.
- End Revenge Porn - Area of coverage: USA
Well rounded campaign, with plethora of information, resources and additional references on existing legislation, advocating for victims of revenge porn. They also provide a designated crisis helpline to support victims of revenge porn.
- Anti-troll alliance - Area of coverage: USA
A campaign against trolling, working towards making criminalisation of trolling.
- Gamers Against Bigotry - Area of coverage: Worldwide
Campaign against bigotry within the gaming communities, initiated by Sam Killermann. The campaign is currently in the process of converting into a non-profit organisation.
- Safety Net Project - Area of coverage: USA / Worldwide
A project set up in 2002 by the National Network to End Domestic Violence. They focus on providing training seminars for improving the response to violence survivors. They also do advocacy and general public education.
- Stop.Think.Connect - Area of coverage: USA / Worldwide
An campaign that carries backing by the US government and the White House and focuses on children being bullied online.
- End Online Misogyny - Area of coverage: Worldwide
Campaign against misogyny, through all of its manifestations.
- Discourses on Online Misogyny - Area of coverage: UK
A project backed by the ESRC Centre for Corpus Approaches to Social Science, that focuses on understanding the roots of misogyny, the perpetrators' mindset, the methods through which they are carried out, and how they can be linked to other forms of online abuse.
- Delete Cyberbullying - Area of coverage: USA / Worldwide
A San Francisco based project working towards education and eradication of cyberbullying. They focus on youth and parents.
Reading, research, journals and miscellaneous
- International Journal of Cyber Criminology - Area of coverage: India / World
A peer-reviewed journal covering a great many disciplines and online abuse types.
- David, Harvey (2003). "Cyberstalking and internet harassment: what the law can do"
- Perry, Jennifer (2012). "Digital Stalking: A Guide to Technology Risks for Victims",
- Machackova, Hana; Cerna, Alena; Sevcikova, Anna; Dedkova, Lenka; Daneback, Kristian (2013). "Effectiveness of coping strategies for victims of cyberbullying"
- McCall, Randy (2004). Online Harassment and Cyberstalking: Victim Access to Crisis, Referral and Support Services in Canada - Concepts and Recommendations
- Duggan, Maeve (2014). "Online harassment", Pew Research Center
- Ellison, Louise; Akdeniz, Yaman (1998). "Cyber-Stalking: The Regulation of Harassment on the Internet"
- Levmore, Saul; Nussbaum, Martha C. (2012). "The Offensive Internet: Speech, Privacy and Reputation"
- Gregorie, Trudy M. (2001). Cyberstalking: The Dangers of the Information Superhighway
- Hess, Amanda (2014). "Why Women Aren’t Welcome on the Internet", Pacific Standard
- Citron, Danielle; Chemaly, Soraya (2014). "Hate Crimes in CyberSpace", Salon
- Antoniadou, Nafsika; Kokkinos, Konstantinos M. (2013). "Cyberbullying in Greece"
- "Online Harassment Data" Infographic, Red Campaign
- http://resources.uknowkids.com/ - Selection of infographics for different online abuse types
- http://fatuglyorslutty.com/ - a collection of abusive message/content sent through the internet
Further resources lists & discussion panels
- Council of Europe - Action against economic crime
- International Gamers Development Association
- http://www.cyberstalkerhelp.org, blog currently run by Christopher Bennets; includes a lengthy resource list.
- Panel Discussion: Sex, Lies and the Internet