A young girl in the UK was raped in the metaverse after a group of online strangers abused her digital persona.
According to the Mail Online, the underage girl was fraught with anxiety after her avatar was assaulted by multiple strangers online.
Although the child didn’t experience any physical effects of the attack, the negative psychological consequences of such an attack are the same as if it had happened in reality.
Virtual reality is designed to be extremely immersive, and it is often difficult to distinguish virtual experiences from digital ones.
This can leave victims of these attacks feeling as if they have experienced rape in the tangible world.
The victim was in an online room that contained a large number of users during the attack. The group of attackers is said to be comprised of several adult men.
This isn't the first instance where someone has been assaulted online. In December, Nina Jane Patel shared her story on Medium about how she was abused similarly on Facebook/Meta Venues.
She recounted that 3 to 4 male avatars began sexually harassing her until they gang-raped her digital persona and documented the event.
This wave of virtual rapes calls for new legislation surrounding the cyber sphere to support and prevent individuals from being subject to these assaults.
Donna Jones, the chairman of the Association of Police and Crime Commissioners, told the Mail that laws need to be updated to maintain the pace at which technology is advancing.
Virtual sexual assaults are on the rise, and so far, no perpetrators have been prosecuted.
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