Cyber violence against women is rampant and together we’re changing that reality
Women and girls experience deliberate violence because of their gender. All over the world they are exposed to violence regardless of their ethnicity, culture, or socioeconomic status. The violence not only harms girls and women but also the people around them, their communities and society.
With the growth of new technologies, the rapid development of the internet, changes in communication and wide range of social media platforms, the internet has become a new domain for gender-based violence.
A new report released by the United Nations reveals that a significant number of women and girls are exposed to gender-based cyber violence. Some of the findings in the report include:
• An estimated 73 per cent of women have already been exposed to, or have experienced, some form of online violence.
• Women in the age range of 18 to 24 are uniquely likely to experience stalking and sexual harassment in addition to physical threats.
• Nine million women in the European Union’s 28 countries alone have experienced online violence as young as 15 years old.
• In many countries women are reluctant to report their victimization for fear of social repercussions.
• Cyber VAWG puts a premium on emotional bandwidth, personal and workplace time, financial resources and missed wages.
• Only 26 per cent of law enforcement agencies in the 86 countries surveyed are taking appropriate action.
Seeing an emergence of cyber-violence against women both as a weapon against women and an environment where women are made to feel unsafe, Battered Women’s Support Services dug deeper to develop our analysis of this type of violence. We initiated Cyber-Violence Against Women: Recognizing and Resisting Gender Violence in the Online Environment research project to determine:
1. in what ways women are experiencing cyber-violence against women,
2. how this type of violence impacts women’s lives,
3. how women resist and fight back against this type of violence and
4. how the community responds to women who experience cyber-violence.
“I began blogging as a way of disengaging from an already violent environment for women of color, but over time, while i did manage to gain a support group, it’s also negatively impacted my well being such that I often have to remove myself from the community or “blank out” out the blog to be safe from certain people”
Read the findings of our report here.
At Battered Women’s Support Services we know youth are powerful agents for social change! We work to end and prevent gender-based in the physical and online spheres, through our peer facilitated violence prevention workshops for youth. We have reached over 4,000 girls and boys in Metro Vancouver at no cost to school or community organizations.
You’ve told us, prevention work with youth is important to you and your community. Support us in continuing this vital work, so we can reach 4,000 more youth. Please donate today.
“…[the presentation] will impact my whole life.” Girl –18
“Now I know how to be an empowered bystander.” Boy –16