By Barbara Coppens, Advocate Assistant with Disability Rights New Jersey, and Leigh Ann Davis, Director of Criminal Justice Initiatives at The Arc of the U.S.
All people, including people with intellectual and developmental disabilities (IDD), are sexual beings and often seek close, intimate relationships. People with IDD have a right to good sexual health and well-being, and this right extends to their online community. While access to the internet and social media can open up the possibilities of having an extended community and potentially larger circle of support, there’s also concern about how easily victimization can happen too.
By Emily May, co-founder and Executive Director of Hollaback!
The concept of bystander intervention is really simple: It’s people helping people.
If I was to have a medical emergency, you’d know what to do. If I dropped my hat on the street, you’d know what to do. But when people witness online harassment, they freeze. They don’t know what to do. And for good reason: The consequences of action (or inaction) online are unclear and unpredictable — and worse, we’ve started seeing online abuse as normal. We told ourselves there is nothing we can do. But that simply isn’t true.
By Mitchell Kuhlman, National Center for Missing & Exploited Children
April is National Child Abuse Prevention Month, and it’s an important time to talk about the online exploitation of children. Today, children are spending more time on the internet. During the COVID-19 pandemic, there has been a dramatic increase in reports of online exploitation. In 2020 alone, reports of online enticement to the National Center for Missing & Exploited Children (NCMEC)’s CyberTipline grew by 97.5% compared to 2019. Online video games have been very popular for years and are especially popular now. …
By Camille Cooper, RAINN
The Covid-19 pandemic has forced more and more of our lives online, particularly for children. In the past year, schools have been forced to close their doors and move education online, meaning many children are spending hours a day on video conferencing or message board platforms. Likewise, socializing online has accelerated due to the pandemic. While kids and teens were already using social media, messaging apps, and video game platforms to connect, social distancing requirements and distance learning have meant that these virtual routes have often been their only social outlet.
While these technologies have been…
By Sara C. Flowers, PPFA
Over the last year, we’ve all had to get a little more comfortable with digital spaces. Whether you’re tired of Zoom by this point or not, most of us can agree that technology has kept us connected to loved ones and helped us maintain some sense of normalcy during the pandemic. Young people are no exception.
Since most teens today are “digital natives” — having grown up around technology and with social media — parents and caregivers might think that teens haven’t had to adjust much to connecting with peers digitally. But the truth is…
By Molly Kurnit, CDC
The past 13 months have been unique for lots of reasons, including a shift to carrying out major parts of our lives online. Whenever possible, we are working remotely, socializing virtually, and ordering our pizzas from our mobile devices. But some things didn’t change. Sexual violence is still occurring, and technology is still used to facilitate that violence.
Sexual violence can occur in person, online, or through technology. Certain online behaviors are clearly abusive, like “Zoom-bombing” nudes into a classroom, while there are other behaviors, like sending someone an unwanted sexual message on a dating app…
By Johanna Mills
After spending the better part of three decades in prison, trying to find my way in the outside world felt like trying to fly a spaceship. The digital revolution had passed me by while I was locked up. When I was sentenced to prison in 1993, the internet was relatively niche. But when I got out in 2019, it was something that everyone needed to function in society.
Yet I didn’t grasp at first just how dramatically the world had changed. Nor did I have a basic understanding of what skills I would need to survive. In…
By Laura Peek
During Sexual Assault Awareness Month 2021, NO MORE is proud to join the National Sexual Violence Resource Center for critical discussions about online sexual harassment and abuse.
Preventing and ending sexual violence requires societal change, and much of that change is attitudinal. If we want to assess and respond to the root causes of sexual violence, we have to start with widely-held, cultural beliefs. Of all of the beliefs that reinforce violence, victim-blaming, or the assumption that survivors of assault are somehow at fault for their own abuse, is among the most damaging.
In our society, it…
By Jennifer S. Hirsch and Shamus Khan
Dick pics, revenge porn, cyberbullying — there are so many sexual ways that people can hurt each other online. For those of us who didn’t grow up with such a deep intertwining of the internet and sex, the anxiety about ‘those crazy kids these days’ is real. But we need to remind ourselves of the centuries-long history of fear about technological change and sexual danger. 200 years ago the ‘technology’ was bicycles and the concern was that riding them would, among other things, disrupt women’s menstrual cycles. Fast forward a century, and a…
By Susan Sullivan, Prevention Campaign Specialist for NSVRC
and Megan Thomas, Communication Specialist for NSVRC
Since our opening in 2000, NSVRC has served as a hub for advocates, researchers, and educators who are on the frontlines to support survivors and build communities free of sexual assault, harassment, and abuse. Twenty years later, we continue to offer the latest resources on preventing sexual violence through services like our library’s continually growing collection of 47,000 resources, free online courses on sexual assault advocacy, and our new podcast, Resource on the Go.
We know that our mission could not see progress without the…
NSVRC provides research & tools to advocates working on the frontlines to end sexual harassment, assault, and abuse.