Victimization of Individuals Online: Cyber-Stalking and Prostitution Research Paper

Introduction, discussion of challenges, discussion of solutions, increased awareness, maintaining low profile, uphold excellent digital hygiene, international and multiagency contribution.

More than two billion individuals use social media sites, including Instagram, Youtube, Snapchat, Facebook, and Twitter. These digital environments undoubtedly influence human connection and communication. Many people see these high-tech advancements as chances to interact with communities they may not otherwise have met (Boukemidja, 2018). Human traffickers use social media to find, conduct operations, and manipulate their victims. Human trafficking includes slave labor and forced prostitution. Apart from labor and sexual exploitation, trafficking includes forced crime such as drug trafficking, stealing, and pickpocketing. While child sexual exploitation and abuse are illegal under national, local, and international law, the sorts of offenses considered such crimes vary. Online grooming, sexual exploitation material such as videos, child sexual abuse, and live broadcasting of child prostitution are examples of offenses prohibited by existing laws. Online victimization, specifically cyberstalking and prostitution, is examined in this research, along with potential remedies.

Millions of people internationally utilize the internet, especially in the US and developing nations like Albania, Herzegovina, and Bosnia. Most developing nations have a history of corruption, civil war, and authoritarian rule, leaving populations vulnerable (O’Brien, 2017). Crooks can engage with susceptible persons like young girls and women without instantly identifying themselves as criminals. Interagency task teams that guarantee a victim-centered approach may help minimize human trafficking and cyberstalking.

Communication via social networking sites or other open online forums may be useful personally and professionally if done responsibly and safely. There are countless negative effects of using the internet irresponsibly. A few examples include cyberstalking and prostitution (Taylor et al., 2019). Even while cyberstalking may take a variety of forms, in the widest sense, it refers to stalking or mistreatment that occurs via the internet, such as through social media, chat groups, or email. Most people who engage in cyberstalking have some prior knowledge of the victims. Slander, defamation, and threats are all types of libel that may be used against people, groups, or even whole organizations (Holt, 2018). The goal may be to gain control over or frighten the victim and obtain information that may be used in other crimes such as identity theft or physical stalking, such as harassment. Internet users are not to fault, but there are plenty of easy targets in today’s world. Using social media as an example, many people nowadays have no qualms about openly disclosing personal information, having open conversations about their thoughts and wishes, or exposing images of their families.

Professional attackers are notoriously difficult to track down and bring to justice because of their skill at hiding behind false identities. Aside from that, most nations still do not have particular legislation in place to combat cyberstalking. Cyberstalking, for example, is covered under bullying and anti-stalking legislation in the United States. A fine or even jail may be imposed, depending on the gravity of the offense (Taylor et al., 2019). The Violence against Women Act of 1994 expressly addresses cyberstalking. Stalking by digital communication is still ineffectively addressed by federal legislation, and state laws are still best suited to see it implemented. California passed the nation’s first anti-cyberstalking legislation. Some of the most notable cyberstalking court cases have occurred since 1999.

When individuals are forced to sell their bodies to make ends meet, it is not just organized criminals driving the global sex trade. Human traffickers exploit their victims by luring, kidnapping, and holding them captive for financial benefit. Victims may be enticed by the promise of freedom from hardships like poverty or an abusive household (Nashit, 2019). For some people, the advantages of forced labor and exploitation will exceed the drawbacks. Human trafficking and cyberstalking may be curbed by addressing the core issues that render individuals susceptible, such as poverty, unemployment, and a lack of safe movement options.

Using juvenile enticement or sexual solicitation as a means of grooming is known as child grooming. In other words, an adult cunningly becomes friends with children to molest them sexually (Taylor et al., 2019). Males are more likely than females to engage in grooming. This crime usually takes place in phases, starting with victim selection in most situations. Perpetrators may access children’s profiles on a wide range of social media platforms and communication applications that they use to communicate with them (Holt et al., 2017). Violent offenders choose a victim based on a variety of factors, including their own wants and weaknesses (for example, a lack of privacy settings on the social media platforms children utilize), as well as the victim’s appeal to the perpetrators.

When a victim has been chosen, the assailant makes contact with them to obtain entry. After that, the offender makes an effort to get to know the victim on a personal level. A criminal can get information on the victim by searching online (Taylor et al., 2019). It is also likely that they will pretend to have similar talents and interests to the victim to develop rapport with them and gain their confidence. The offender intends to turn the friendship into something more serious (Taylor et al., 2019). The perpetrator weighs the likelihood of being caught before engaging in sexual exploitation or abuse (for instance, by asking the victim if parents or guardians check their accounts or smartphones). The perpetrators express their desire for secrecy and exclusivity in their connection with the victim by isolating the latter. However, there are always exceptions to the rule.

When it comes to things like cyberstalking and prostitution, online grooming, human trafficking, or exploitation, there is no linear process; instead, the existing dynamic progression depends on the offender’s intent, skills, motivations, and ability to manage and control the victim. To sexually abuse the target, the eventual objective of digital grooming is to manipulate or coerce the victim into sending a sexually explicit photograph or video to the offender or by meeting face-to-face with the victims to exploit them sexually. Cyberstalking and online grooming are addressed in International and regional laws such as the Optional Protocol on the Sale of Children, Child Prostitution, and Children Pornography, in addition to the Convention on the Rights of the Child (CRC) of 2000. These laws aim to reduce the profiling of children for cyberstalking and prostitution, online grooming, human trafficking, and other forms of exploitation (Boukemidja, 2018). Other international treaties and directives specifically penalize child exploitation, cyberstalking, and prostitution, as well as human trafficking and exploitation in general.

It is critical to identify viable solutions to reduce the prevalence of cyberstalking, prostitution, human trafficking, exploitation, and child targeting. Several alternative remedies should be undertaken to lessen the prevalence of cyberstalking and prostitution globally (Taylor et al., 2019). Human trafficking prevention starts with public education to establish victims and prevent cyberstalking and prostitution (O’Brien, 2017). This will help victims comprehend and conquer their fear of perpetrators, thereby helping to isolate criminals. Once criminals are identified, international organizations should unite to combat cyberstalking and punish traffickers.

The nations with the highest frequency of human trafficking have the fewest articles on the subject, which indicates widespread ignorance. Advertising is one of the most effective strategies to increase awareness about human trafficking (Taylor et al., 2019). Educating the public regarding human trafficking is among the simplest yet most effective strategies to raise public awareness. Social media campaigns are one technique to raise awareness about human trafficking. Social marketing efforts aim to change behavior. One such effort is “Real Men Don’t Buy Girls”, which attempts to eliminate juvenile sex trafficking and prostitution. Ads can help recognize victims and assist in preventing human trafficking (Holt et al., 2017). In addition to identifying victims, it is critical to educate internet users on cyberstalking, prostitution, and the effects of trafficking.

Maintaining a low online profile can be difficult for certain people, especially those who need to utilize social media platforms for interaction or business purposes. However, many people may benefit from enhanced enlightenment. It is important to avoid publishing personal information like contact address and telephone number and think twice about sharing current information like where one is and who they are with. So many individuals continually publish personal information, including on social media platforms (Taylor et al., 2019). Completing questionnaires or applying for discounts increases the risk of someone obtaining their personal data and facilitating cyberstalking.

Digital Hygiene is an essential issue, especially when it comes to social media. Excellent digital hygiene protects internet users against cyberbullying, exploitation, and cyberstalking. One of the first measures to ‘tidy up’ personal accounts is to change privacy settings. Most social networking sites and internet accounts allow users to choose who may see and contact them. Nonetheless, it is wise to keep platforms such as timeline, newsfeed, and message threads devoid of nasty remarks (Boukemidja, 2018). Beyond perhaps inciting additional hatred from others, re-reading such comments may have a powerful emotional impact. For example, website moderators receive frequent psychiatric help since reading abusive remarks, even those not addressed to them, causes severe distress. Girls and women need to be careful on social media. While most online assaults target males, cyberstalking and prostitution mainly target women.

Multinational cooperation is one of the most effective ways to combat cyberstalking and human trafficking. The US believes that up to one million individuals are trafficked every year. Almost no country is immune to sex trafficking or cyberstalking (O’Brien, 2017). As a result, international authorities should collaborate to decrease trafficking victims. Governments should work together to combat human trafficking. Because jurisdictional difficulties may hinder multi-agency engagement, legislation should be passed permitting cross-border jurisdiction to combat trafficking (Taylor et al., 2019). For example, the US laws grant regulatory authority over child sex tourists and crimes committed by American individuals abroad. It is vital that traffickers know they will be held to account even if they undertake crime across borders.

International collaboration is vital in reducing human trafficking. Similar crimes ought to be punished equally to achieve international collaboration in the fight against human trafficking. Governments should agree on protocols for sharing evidence and extraditing traffickers (Taylor et al., 2019). Countries cannot effectively collaborate without bilateral cooperation treaties as this hampers the effective reduction of human trafficking and cyberstalking. Extradition is a procedure through which convicts are taken to the country in which they were prosecuted (Holt et al., 2017). Mutual legal support in investigations and prosecutions, anti-money laundering systems, asset freezing and forfeiture cooperation, victim protection, and deportation regulations are further factors for nations participating in transnational cooperation.

Over two billion people worldwide utilize social media platforms such as Instagram, Youtube, Snapchat, Facebook, and Twitter. Crooks may approach vulnerable individuals such as young girls and women without immediately identifying themselves as criminals. Interagency task forces that prioritize victim safety may help reduce human trafficking and cyberstalking. The majority of those who participate in cyberstalking have some previous information about their targets. Professional attackers are notoriously difficult to apprehend and prosecute due to their ability to conceal themselves behind phony identities. Human trafficking and cyberstalking may be eradicated by addressing the root causes of vulnerability, such as poverty, unemployment, and a lack of secure travel choices. Prevention of human trafficking begins with public education to identify victims and to deter cyberstalking and prostitution. After identifying offenders, international organizations should band together to prevent cyberstalking and prosecute traffickers. International collaboration is a very successful strategy for combating cyberstalking and human trafficking. Since jurisdictional issues may impede multi-agency participation, it is vital that legislation authorizing cross-border jurisdiction be enacted to fight trafficking. Governments should agree on processes for exchanging evidence and extraditing cyberstalking and prostitution criminals.

Boukemidja, N. B. (2018). Cyber crimes against women: Qualification and means . European Journal of Social Sciences , 1 (3), 34-44. Web.

Holt, T. J. (2018). Regulating cybercrime through law enforcement and industry mechanisms . The ANNALS of the American Academy of Political and Social Science , 679 (1), 140-157. Web.

Holt, T. J., Bossler, A. M., & Seigfried-Spellar, K. C. (2017). Cybercrime and digital forensics: An introduction (2 nd ed.). Routledge.

Nashit, M. (2019). Global cybercrimes, associated laws and befitting policies for Pakistan. Defence Journal , 22 (10), 46-54.

O’Brien, M. A. (2017). Free speech or slavery profiteering: Solutions for policing online sex-trafficking advertisement. Vanderbilt Journal of Entertainment & Technology Law , 20 (1), 289-317.

Taylor, R. W., Fritsch, E. J., Liederbach, J., Saylor, M. R., & Tafoya, W. L. (2019). Cyber crime and cyber terrorism (4 th ed.). Pearson.

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IvyPanda. (2022, November 21). Victimization of Individuals Online: Cyber-Stalking and Prostitution.

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IvyPanda . "Victimization of Individuals Online: Cyber-Stalking and Prostitution." November 21, 2022.

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