The video testimony of a mother whose 15-year-old son committed suicide because someone posted his nude photo on Instagram was shown at a conference about the victims of cybercrime. Hosted in Brussels by the European Economic and Social Committee (EESC), its aim was to raise awareness.

“He never told us what he was going through; we had no idea. He must have felt ashamed. The worst part must have been the likes and reactions below the photo. His full name was revealed. Imagine what this feels like for a 15-year old. He must have thought he would never be able to remove the photo. He must have felt there was no end to this,” his mother said.

Addressing the conference on behalf of the EESC, the President of the Section of Employment, Social Affairs and Citizenship, Pavel Trantina, said: “We continue to face challenges in providing support for victims across a wide range of circumstances and in ever-evolving circumstances and situations. The topic of cybercrime is of growing importance.”

MEP Miriam Dalli said that victims needed to be given access to information about how to file a complaint and how to stand up for their rights, as well as about to whom they should speak if they fall prey to cybercriminals.

In turn, Ann Moulds, founder of Action against Stalking, fights for further harmonisation of laws against stalking and its recognition as a criminal offence, to prevent “stalkers falling through the net”.