I turned my cheek when he went to kiss me goodbye, and was pleased there would be no more penis pictures in my life. Department of Justice statistics suggest that 850,000 American adults—mostly women—are targets of cyber-stalking each year, and 40 percent of women have experienced dating violence delivered electronically.After ignoring a couple text messages from him, I told him I was busy, but kept it polite. It was a close-up shot of him masturbating for ten seconds. And most importantly, it felt like a threat.“Unwanted sexual contact online—it’s something we take seriously,” said Scott Berkowitz, the founder and president of the Rape, Abuse, and Incest National Network. A recent study by the Pew Research Center found 40 percent of adult Internet users have experienced harassment online, with young women enduring particularly severe forms of it.Citron can only think of three or four reported cases in America, where victims have successfully been awarded a monetary judgment against their online harassers.
It didn’t take him long to ask me to send him a “saucy photo,” (his words) and it didn’t take long for me to tell him that just wasn’t my thing. Days later, Jennifer Lawrence and over 100 other women were exposed across the Internet. He sent me an almost full frontal—via Snapchat—back. I’m basically a Victorian, but I thought we might be able to find a happy medium in the modern era. Two minutes in, or perhaps when he asked me if I wanted to leave the restaurant and go take a bath together, I realized we were looking for different things.Thirty-eight percent of women who had been harassed online reported the experience could be described as extremely or very upsetting to them.“When gender and severe harassment combine, the results are especially stark,” writes report author Maeve Duggan. I deleted our contact history from my phone and blocked him. But for thousands of women, and some men, the consequences of online actions have been dire.The websites you are directed to may be official looking and some even contain stolen logos from government authorities and official brokers.In other cases, they are poorly put together (note the terrible use of grammar!