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[liberationtech] Cyber harassment helpline 6 month report

Nighat Dad nigidaad at
Tue Jul 18 23:27:20 PDT 2017

Dear all,

Digital Rights Foundation's Cyber Harassment Helpline marks another
milestone in its short but prolific history--the release of our six months
operations report

The Cyber Harassment Helpline is Pakistan’s first dedicated helpline
addressing issues of online abuse and violence by providing a free, safe,
gender-sensitive and confidential service. Launched December 1, 2016, the
Helpline Support Staff gives legal advice, digital security support and
psychological counselling to victims of online harassment. The toll free
number [0800-39393] is available to people looking for help between 9am
till 5pm, Monday to Friday.

These quarterly reports give us the opportunity to share our success, and
the challenges we faced, with our partners and also ensures transparency.
We wish to use the following findings to pursue data-driven advocacy.

According to our findings, the Cyber Harassment Helpline has received 763
complaints in the form of calls, emails and Facebook messages from December
1, 2016 till May 31, 2017. 63% of the calls were made by women, whereas 37%
of the calls were made by men. Facebook remains the most widely reported
platform where people face the most harassment. Among the kinds of
harassment reported, complaints of fake profiles, non consensual use of
information, blackmailing, hacked accounts and devices and unsolicited
messages were the most common ones.

The Cyber Harassment Helpline also started identifying the mental health
consequences of cyber harassment with a descriptive and psychological
review of the calls. It was identified that out of a sample of 50 callers
who gave psychological data, 18% experienced fear and 18% felt anger which
further led to depression (17%), insecurities (19%), disturbed sleep (15%),
withdrawal from family and friends (14%), anxiety/paranoia (10%), suicidal
thoughts (5%), chronic stress (16%) and problems in relationships (4%).

Building on this data, the Digital Rights has identified some
recommendations for the government and law enforcement agencies to improve
the reporting mechanism regarding online violence. The recommendations can
be found at page 26 of the report.

We hope that you will continue to support us and collaborate with us to
build on these findings and make the internet a safer space for all.

Media coverage so far

Nighat Dad
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