Children and young people unfortunately encounter different crimes on the Internet. The anonymity and the facelessness can enable harassment, bullying and abuse. No one should have to endure crimes online. It can be difficult to identify a crime.
You should always ask for help if you suspect a crime. You do not have to know the classification of the crime. It is enough if a situation has made you feel bad or given you the feeling that something is wrong. In sex offences, for example, it does not matter if you initially were participating in the discussion, sending pictures or agreed to meet. The perpetrator is always responsible for his/her actions.
Examples of crimes online:
- Defamation – For example sharing a mocking image or spreading false rumours
- Menace – For example threatening someone so that the person has justified reason to believe that his/her health is in danger, like threatening with assault
- Stalking – For example disturbing, repeated and unwanted stalking and contacting
- Identity theft – For example making a fake profile and misusing the profile to mislead a third party
- Dissemination of information violating personal privacy – For example spreading private and sensitive information
- Solicitation of a child for sexual purposes – For example preparing for sexual abuse of a child by striving to gain the victim’s trust
- Sexual abuse of a child – For example sending sexual material to a minor
- Fraud – For example selling non-existing goods and other financial frauds
What should you do if you suspect that you have fallen victim to a crime on the Internet?
- Tell a trusted adult about it
- Take screenshots of what happened if possible
- Save the pictures and messages
- Ask the Internet police for help if needed
- Make a criminal report to the police if necessary
- If necessary, report the person to the administrator of the service
- If necessary, report the inappropriate content to the administrator of the service
- If necessary, block the person from the service
- Remember to get help as soon as possible
- You can discuss the matter in the RIKU chat
Remember these important things:
- What happened is not your fault
- The perpetrator is always responsible for his/her actions.
- The experience can cause different feelings, like shame, fear and guilt.
- All reactions are normal
- No one must tolerate any kind of harassment or threats
- It is important not to be left alone with the experience
- Tell a reliable adult about what happened
Do not hesitate to ask for help