sealPurdue News

February 8, 2002

Internet crimes expert to speak at Purdue

WEST LAFAYETTE, Ind. – Internet crime expert Jayne Hitchcock, founder of the organization Working to Halt Online Abuse, will speak at Purdue about her personal experience with cyberstalking and what can be done to prevent it.

Hitchcock will speak at 7 p.m. Wednesday, Feb. 20, in Fowler Hall. The lecture, sponsored by the Women's Resource Office, is free and open to the public.

Karen Hall, Women's Resource Office director, says Hitchcock's lecture should be valuable for anyone who works online.

"At a time when Internet use is increasingly widespread, it's important to recognize that the number of people intending to abuse the rights and privileges of other users is also increasing," Hall says. "I am pleased that we are able to bring Jane Hitchcock to our campus where the role of technology holds such importance. It is vital that we educate and empower ourselves on this issue."

Hitchcock founded WHOA in 1997 after her own experience with a cyberstalker. Since 2000, the organization's volunteers have worked with more than 600 people experiencing online harassment. The organization also educates law enforcement personnel on Internet crime and works with online communities to adopt voluntary policies creating safe Internet environments. WHOA volunteers also educate the public on how to avoid or minimize harassment.

Hitchcock also lobbies for laws to deter cyberstalkers and provide victim's assistance. A freelance journalist, she is the author of "Net Crimes and Misdemeanors: Outmaneuvering Online Spammers, Scammers & Stalkers." Hitchcock also serves as a consultant for the Department of Justice Office for Victims of Crime and the National Center for Victims of Crime.

More information is available at the WHO@ Web site .

CONTACT: Karen Hall, (765) 494-9879,

NOTE TO JOURNALISTS: Interviews with Jayne Hitchcock are available. Contact the Women's Resource Office at (765) 494-9879 to make arrangements.

Purdue News Service: (765) 494-2096;

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