TURBAT: With the widespread use of social media, blackmailing and harassment have also become very common. Women and young girls fall victim to this as their pictures and information is used by strangers to blackmail them and to extort money from them. Rrecently, a girl in Badin committed suicide after a group of young men kept blackmailing her over edited pictures. As a result of this, she had already paid them Rs50,000, yet the group continued to threaten her and sent her edited pictures to her fiancé as well — who later broke up the engagement.
The above-mentioned incident is one of the many, where women are forced into taking drastic steps following incessant harassment over social media and cyber bullying. According to the cybercrime laws, a person who captures a picture or video clip of any person without their consent and posts it on social media, is liable to imprisonment or a fine. The government has also established a National Response Centre for Cyber Crime, where people can register complaints against cyber harassment and fraudulent activities. The response centre is quite effective, but unfortunately, not as well known among the masses. 0People should familiarise themselves with the legal channels available to them in such cases of blackmail and take action accordingly. Most female victims also shy away from taking action because they fear they will bring dishonour to the family if they go public with such things. It is high time they became brave and stood up for their rights. As a society, we should also ensure that we stop blaming and shaming the victim and hold the perpetrators accountable, so that we may prevent further incidents such as the one that took place in Badin.
Published in The Express Tribune, May 23rd, 2019.