The National Domestic Violence Hotline Welcomes Additional Efforts to Support Survivors of Online Abuse and Harassment
WASHINGTON – Yesterday, the White House established a Task Force to Address Online Abuse and Harassment to confront the risks and harms of technology-facilitated gender-based violence. The Task Force launch began with remarks from the Vice President, the Attorney General, and the Surgeon General followed by an impactful panel of survivors and experts. Within 180 days the Task Force will provide a blueprint for how the federal government can address online harassment and abuse and take actions in partnership with the private sector and civil society. The National Domestic Violence Hotline (The Hotline) knows firsthand how technology and the internet can be used by those who cause harm to begin, continue, and escalate abuse.
The Hotline is excited to support the work of the Task Force by sharing the preliminary results of our 2022 Online Harassment and Abuse Survey. The Hotline conducted a short survey from March 8 to May 1, 2022 on our chat and website platforms. The Hotline received responses from 960 contacts and the results were distressing. The most common types of harassment and abuse reported were offensive name calling and bullying. Other respondents experienced sexual harassment, were threatened with the posting of intimate/sexual images without permission, sextortion, doxing and more. The Hotline plans to release data from the full report later this summer.
“We deeply appreciate the federal government’s creation of the Task Force and its commitment to addressing online harassment and abuse,” said Katie Ray-Jones, CEO of the National Domestic Violence Hotline. “Our survey showed how respondents experience stigma, shame, and fear they will not be believed if they come forward. Awareness and support efforts that validate the experiences of those suffering from online abuse and harassment would enable more individuals to reach out for support. We look forward to the work of the Task Force to build an understanding of the impact of the problem, improve prevention efforts, and strengthen accountability.” Staying safe online and while using technology can be a challenge. The Hotline has online resources to help safety plan and is available for support 24/7/365 through phone, text and chat services.
The National Domestic Violence Hotline envisions a world where all relationships are positive, healthy, and free from violence. If you or someone you know is experiencing relationship abuse in any form, help is available. The National Domestic Violence Hotline provides free, confidential support 24/7/365. Text START to 88788, call 1-800-799-SAFE (7233), or chat online at TheHotline.org. You are not alone.