Only 20pc teen victims report online sexual abuse to provider

Washington : About 1 in 5 adolescent victims of sexual harassment on the social media, especially Facebook, reported the abuse to the provider, but in nearly half of those cases the provider took no action, according to a new study.

In the article, the findings show that the more negative emotions such as anger and shame victims experience, the less they feel in control of the situation. Public visibility of the sexual content and the inability to remove it from the site add to these feelings, increasing the likelihood that the adolescent will report the incident.

Coauthors Kathleen Van Royen, Karolien Poels, and Heidi Vandebosch, University of Antwerp, Belgium, propose that in addition to removing the offensive content and blocking/tracing the harasser, providers should consider strategies to offer emotional support to victims.

These might include automatically generated messages and links to support organizations, intended to help alleviate the adolescent’s negative emotions.

Sexual harassment’s migration to the digital domain has called for new strategies to ensure the safety of children and adolescents, says Editor-in-Chief Brenda K. Wiederhold.

Wiederhold added “To help in this effort, two recent endeavours have been launched in the U.S. and Europe: 1) Safer Social Networking Principles — a self-regulatory agreement developed by SNS providers in consultation with the European Commission; and 2) The U.S. Internet Safety Technical Task Force, which hopes to understand what role technology can play in the protection of children and young people on the internet.”

The study reported in Cyberpsychology, Behavior, and Social Networking. (ANI)