An official helpline for victims of online violence is active on the CRO Cyber Rights Organization website: “A direct line between survivors of cybercrime and gender-based online violence and the legal and IT cyber assistance activities of our team of international experts”, explains Director Annachiara Sarto.
The new helpline of CRO Cyber Rights Organization
Cybercrime has different faces, ranging between image-based sexual abuse, sextortion, distribution of intimate material and financial fraud. The idea behind the Helpline is to enable the many victims of cyber crime – especially women who are 27 times more exposed to online violence than men – to contact the CRO Cyber Rights Organization directly. Another important step in the fight against cybercrime was accomplished by the international organization based in The Hague, Netherlands, founded by AnnaChiara Sarto together with Andrea Baggio and Juan Ricardo Palacio (CEOs of ReputationUP and HelpRansomware) and also led by researcher and activist Silvia Semenzin (Head of CRO’s advocacy department).
How the helpline is going to work.
As activist Silvia Semenzin explains: “Thanks to this Helpline, we will be able to directly help people who contact us for IT and legal support regarding any cybercrime that has violated their freedom and online dignity”.
Indeed, it is a simple format that anyone can find on the website, intuitive and fast, in which the survivor will be able to explain, anonymously, to CRO’s legal experts and IT technicians, the nature of the crime or violence suffered. “For this purpose”, continues Silvia Semenzin, “we have set up the possibility for survivors to upload files for direct exchange of useful material, enabling side-by-side operations that CRO provides to victims of digital crime”. The organization’s strength is based on years of experience in online reputation and cybersecurity for businesses and governments, combined with a strong ethical defense of human and digital rights.
A look at online gender-based violence
A crackdown on cybercrime to concretely re-establish the importance of cyber rights issues at the national and European levels. Increasingly disheartening are the numbers outlining the many forms of digital violence. According to a study conducted by McGlynn and Rackley (Birmingham University), for example, out of 1160 cases analyzed of non-consensual dissemination of intimate imagery, only 11% of the reported abuses resulted in the prosecution of the perpetrator, 7% in a police warning, 5% in a community resolution, while in 61% of the cases no action was taken.
“We will start to act from that 61%. We are proud to be able to help survivors of online gender-based violence”, claims Silvia Semenzin, “we also think that this Helpline is an important container of stories and testimonies that will help us to develop new methodologies on the front of fighting cybercrime and assuring the survivors with justice and the best practices to mitigate the violence against their digital and human rights”.
A large European Database on online violence
A digital space reserved to collect personal experiences of gender-based violence and lives in the balance due to, for example, the non consensual dissemination of personal and intimate imagery. CRO Cyber Rights Organization will also aim to categorize and anonymously process reports and requests from victims by launching one of Europe’s largest databases on the following online crimes: non-consensual dissemination of intimate imagery, online child protection, GDPR violations, cyberbullying, online gender-based violence, hate speech, doxing, deep fake porn, sextortion, cyber stalking, catfishing, identity theft and financial fraud.
Director Annachiara Sarto concludes: “We will put at the service of cybercrime survivors the most impressive European support machine, both on the legal and IT fronts. Finally, an authoritative European dike that will put the cyber rights and digital human rights of citizens of all states at the center of the international agenda”.