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News : Digital Rights Foundation Launches Cyber Harassment Helpline Report 2020

#contactcenterworld, @digitalrightspk

Islamabad, Pakistan, March 5, 2021 -- For the past four years, DRF has run and operated its Cyber Harassment Helpline, providing its callers with legal aid, digital safety assistance, and mental health counseling. 2020 proved to be one of the most challenging and demanding years for the helpline, not only because of Covid-19 related lockdowns but because of a surge in cases of online violence and harassment. The latest report for the Helpline can be found here.

During the pandemic, our Cyber Harassment Helpline operated 24/7 from June to September 2020 to accommodate the unprecedented surge in calls and complaints.

In 2020, we recorded a total of 3298 cases on our helpline, which is a 70% increase from the total for 2019. Our average calls per month for this past year were 212, with July being our busiest month, with a total of 697 cases being recorded, during just that month alone.

33% of our cases related to blackmailing and extortion, which often entails the use of an individual’s personal information, photos, or psychological manipulations to make threats/demands. This is followed by 23% of cases that had to do with hacking, be it social media accounts, or recently, social-engineered WhatsApp hacking.

Province-wise, our call breakup is as follows: 57% Punjab, 11% Sindh, 4% Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, 4% Islamabad, 2% Balochistan, and 1% Kashmir.

Nighat Dad, DRF’s Executive Director gave the following statement for the launch of the Helpline Report:

"2020 was a difficult year for our helpline, however, we found new and innovative ways to keep working, especially when we realized that as lockdowns grew, so did cyber harassment. I am very proud that we were able to operate at 24/7 capacity for a few months this year, as it was clearly needed when you look at our numbers. I am amazed by my team who worked through this pandemic when it was at its peak. I am also amazed at the bravery of the people who call into our helpline. These people are extremely brave for speaking up, and their efforts will hopefully break the cycle of violence we see in Pakistan."

#contactcenterworld, @digitalrightspk

Posted by Veronica Silva Cusi, news correspondent

Today's Tip of the Day - Connectivity

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Published: Monday, March 8, 2021

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