Grant Funds Study of Technology Facilitated Crimes Against Children

The Multimedia Juvenile Victimization (MJV): Insights into Youth Behavior to Help Law Enforcement project, funded by the US Department of Justice, brought participating school district personnel, law enforcement officers, university researchers, and other interested parties together in fall of 2010 to discuss what the research literature says about ten areas of Internet victimization: sexting; online sexual predators; scam artists; cyber bullies; misinformation and bias; identity theft; cyberstalkers; hate group recruitment; spam, virus, and worm hackers; and the influences of violent video games. Participants focused on the meaning of the data and how those data might be used.

Principal investigator of the multi-year MJV project Thanh Truc Nguyen noted that the project continues to evolve as data are collected. While the original intent was to provide data that would help officials enforce current laws designed to protect children, the focus has shifted to looking at ways to revise the laws to provide better protection based on what the data show is happening online.

Nguyen is hoping to follow up with an online forum and other ways to share the information they are collecting with a wider audience. She is intent on helping teachers create an environment where students feel comfortable discussing online behaviors and coming to a teacher or other adult with their concerns.

In a new publication, The Voices of the Youth, Nā Leo o nā Ōpio, Hawai‘i students explore the questions, “What issues do you think of when you consider internet safety?” and “Do you have any concerns for your own internet safety?” The Voices of the Youth is a collection of selected essays from a competition among students who wrote in response to these questions. The topics addressed include cyber bullies, sexting, online predators, cyber stalkers, hate-group recruiters, identify theft con artists, scam artists, spam, viruses, worm hackers, misinformation and bias, and violent video game influences.


Community Partners

  • School Districts in Hawai‘i, California, Wyoming, and Virginia
  • Honolulu Police Department
  • Federal Bureau of Investigation, Honolulu Division
  • State of Hawai‘i, Department of the  Attorney General
  • University of Hawai‘i, Information  Technology Infraguard Hawai‘i