Top Five on Friday – October 11

By Katie Stanton
Social Media & Online Engagement Manager, YWCA USA

How safe are you online? If you’ve ever used a computer or a phone to do your banking, pay your taxes, shop or meet potential dates, you’ve put yourself at risk for identity theft, stalking and more. Teens and students who use social networking profiles face online bullying, sometimes to tragic results. Luckily, there are campaigns like Stop.Think.Connect.’s National Cyber Security Awareness Month, helping us all stay safer online as technology becomes more accessible and popular.

Join the YWCA USA’s Week Without Violence™ 2013 Blog Carnival!

By Katie Stanton
Social Media & Online Engagement Manager, YWCA USA

YWCA Week Without ViolenceAccording to the American Medical Association, more than 20% of women in the United States have experienced intimate-partner violence, stalking or both. A full 17% have reported rape or attempted rape. On average, 24 people per minute are victims of rape, physical violence, or stalking by an intimate partner in the United States (CDC).

We all know someone who has experienced violence – she might be a family member, a friend, a co-worker. All too often, they are us. 

Why Is Stalking Romantic in Our Favorite Movies?

by Hannah Moulton Belec

An eighth-grader barrages his babysitter with romantic overtures in person and via text even after she tells him it makes her uncomfortable.

A high school boy follows a classmate’s every move and sneaks into her room at night to watch her sleep.

Seven brothers kidnap seven women and bring them to a secluded cabin to live as man and wife.

twilight-dvdAh, romance. Oh wait — did you think these scenarios sounded more creepy than lovey-dovey? Illegal, even? Crazy, Stupid, Love.Twilight; and Seven Brides for Seven Brothers are all conventional romances. Yet, stripped of the attractive actors and swelling music, these movies reveal some deeply troubling behavior.

Stalking is sometimes taken seriously —  some films show that the law can’t always help and that being stalked is intrusive, terrifying, and likely to escalate to bodily harm. But far more often, this behavior is instead implied to be a normal and even preferred part of courtship. It’s romantic! And it’s shockingly ubiquitous.

Stop.Think.Connect.™ and YWCA: Empowering Women Through Cyber Awareness

By: The Stop.Think.Connect. Campaign

While the Internet has opened many doors for women, it can also pose serious dangers for those who are unaware of how to protect themselves online. Women are frequent targets for cybercriminals seeking to commit crimes, which can range from identity theft, to physical stalking, to cyberbullying. In fact, more than 20% of students will be cyberbullying victims by their high school graduation. Sharing too much information online often times contributes to the cybercrimes committed against women, and taking simple actions can help prevent you from becoming a victim.

To address these issues, the YWCA USA has joined the Department of Homeland Security’s (DHS) Stop.Think.Connect. National Network, which is a coalition of non-profit organizations committed to raising awareness about cybersecurity. Together, our two organizations help YWCA members and all women learn about the dangers that exist online and take action to protect themselves against threats, making the Internet a safer place for everyone.