After reading numerous articles, reviewing statistics and watching youtube media clips about cyber stalking, (the following articles to name a few: http://www.trutv.com/library/crime/criminal_mind/psychology/cyberstalking/5.html , http://womensissues.about.com/od/violenceagainstwomen/a/CyberstalkStory.htm, http://writing.wikinut.com/My-cyber-stalking-horror-story/lxihxqeu/ )
It seems that women find themselves frequently the victims of cyber stalking, often due to relationships that end badly. A few articles suggest that cyber stalking is just a Web 2.0 version of the “old fashioned” stalking behaviors that have been around for ever, but the ease of launching “attacks” and the size of attacks that can be launched grows exponentially with the mass media Web 2.0 tools. The broadcast nature of Web2.0 also makes for more victims from cyber stalking; whereas before, perhaps being stalked was someones “secret”, now through the web one can not only torment you – they can effectively engage your entire network to work against you.
I believe it is some of the best nature of women that opens them up to cyber stalking; not wanting to hurt someone, attempting to be responsive to someone else’s needs, trusting people with our personal information and or trying to end a relationship on some sort of “amicable” note – when it is really impossible to do so. That said, women might want to take a note from our male counterparts and be more direct about situations, be clear about limits, de-personalize bad behavior – acknowledging it for what it is – bad behavior.
No one deserves to be cyber stalked – or stalked for that matter, but I believe women in particular need to reconsider the precautions (or lack there of) that they are taking to protect themselves. First and foremost, women need to surround themselves with healthy relationships so that cyber stalking – or any form of stalking doesn’t even enter the picture.