Monday, November 29, 2004
ONLINE ROMANCE CRIME ON THE RISE
File this under "forewarned is forearmed." The article quotes the president of an organization called WHOA (Working to Halt Online Abuse): "We see up to 50 victims of online harassment/stalking each week," Jayne Hitchcock, president of WHOA states. "Some of these have had the unfortunate experience of meeting someone online, whether via an online dating service, chat room or personal ad, and have had a negative experience. So far, these victims (both men and women) have not had their lives taken as a result, or been physically abused, and we were able to stop the online harassment before it escalated to such a point. Putting a disclaimer on a Web site stating whether or not they provide a marital and/or criminal background check is a very simple solution and much easier than requiring every online dating service to do these checks. This then leaves a man or woman the option of joining that service, knowing what they can expect. And it could save their life." The call to action was issued by TRUE, "the only online relationship service that actively seeks to further protect the safety of its communicating members by conducting extensive criminal background screenings. "