Public Security Ministry releases statistics of attacks on girls online

Data released in honor of International Girls Day shows that girls make up two-thirds of victims of attacks against minors online.

An estimated 60% of adolescents have experienced some form of cyberbullying over social media. (photo credit: Wikimedia Commons)
An estimated 60% of adolescents have experienced some form of cyberbullying over social media.
(photo credit: Wikimedia Commons)

Data released by the Public Security Minister in honor of International Day of the Girl Child on Monday shows that 67% of 15,425 reported attacks against minors online were committed against girls and female teenagers.

The statistics were provided by the Center for the Protection of Children Online (Unit 105). 

Some 31% were complaining about sexual offenses involving threats and blackmail, sexual assault and harassment, solicitation and inappropriate sexual discourse.

A further 18% were social attacks involving shaming, shunning, bullying and the distribution of humiliating photos and videos that were not sexual in nature, while the distribution of sexual photos and videos without the consent of the girl in them made up 7% of complaints.

Some 11% called the hotline to report suicidal tendencies as a result of the attacks they had been subject to.

Today’s youths prefer to share their feelings and emotions through texts and online, in social media, in chat platforms while gaming and in other similar settings (credit: SNAPPY GOAT)Today’s youths prefer to share their feelings and emotions through texts and online, in social media, in chat platforms while gaming and in other similar settings (credit: SNAPPY GOAT)

The main platforms where attacks occurred were Instagram, WhatsApp and TikTok.

The International Day of the Girl Child was announced by the UN in an attempt to raise awareness for the inequality between boys and girls that begins at a young age. Many girls around the world deal with difficult challenges like inequality and sexual attacks, and in some extreme cases, sex trafficking and prostitution of minors.

"I congratulate the important and focused treatment in issues of the lives of girls in the country and the world and raising awareness on this topic," said Public Security Ministry Director-General Tomer Lotan. "The national Center for the Protection of Children Online will continue all of their efforts so that every girl and teenager will be safe online, too."

"We are on the front lines of the battle against attacks on minors online and are working together with the civilian administration to protect the safety of children in the virtual and physical spaces," according to Police Unit 105 commander Lt.-Col. Shlomit Landes. "As part of the unit's work, we utilize an intelligence force alongside investigations into suspects of any crime against minors. We will continue to strengthen the safety of children online and bring to justice any and all criminals."

"We can see a clear gender dynamic in attacks against minors online," said the head of the unit's civilian administration Dr. Nava Cohen-Avigdor. "Most of the perpetrators are male, and most of the victims are female. This fact also reflects the truth in physical spaces in sexual assaults. As a society, we must act to strengthen the personal security of girls and teenagers as well as women in all walks of life, including online."