Threat assessment management
Internet is used globally and has multiple functions; the problem arises when internet becomes a mean for abuse and targets of these actions and young people are more vulnerable, more exposed, often underestimate the risk associated with the threats and the harassing bevaviour. The victims are invalidating the personal and the professional help because they tend to minimize the risk of more severe threats not posing enough credibility to them . Teens may be reluctant to tell adults what is happening online or through their cell phones because they are emotionally traumatized, think it is their fault, fear greater retribution, or fear online activities or cell phone use will be restricted.
Students and youngsters in general are not able to understand which behavior is a high damaging one or a credible threat of harm-doing.
Victims of these behavior usually do not report to the police or other adults because they themselves participated in responding to the aggression, and would only report when they know there is someone in the school who will not criticize them and will be able to handle the situation; this person might be a school counsellor or a peer who is capable of the intake and then refer more serious cases to another adult.
This is why in this project we want to address not so much the study of the phenomenon which nowadays are quite well known and studied in US, Canada and in western Europe, but we want to address the problem in other parts of Europe (Mediterranean and East Europe) and develop, validate and disseminate a method, a tool for youngsters for own assessment of risk and take actions to protect themselves and have other people help them manage such risk.
Threat assessment compared to the risk assessment of recidivism takes into consideration whether a certain threat is a serious reliable one or not, meaning whether is likely that a student that has posed a threat of committing a violent act (threatening to harm someone, to post sexting material, to act as he or she is intending) will actually act such threat. Threat assessment is guided by several operational principles and relies on key questions that are suggested as important to ask when evaluating the risk posed by an individual for acts of target violence, meaning if he (or she) has will actually act such a threat (Reddy et al., 2001).
The threat assessment approach has been developed and is mainly used for the assessment of severe targeted violence in the school and work setting (i.e. school shooting, bomb explosion), but with this project we want to use it for any form of bullying action taking place in the cyber world