Download free PDF Cyber violence against women and girls Law In this post.The increasing reach of the internet, the rapid spread of mobile information, and widespread use of social media, coupled with the existing violence against women and girls (VAWG) pandemic, have resulted in cyber-VAWG becoming a growing global problem with potential significant economic and social consequences.
Research shows that one in three women has experienced some form of violence in her lifetime, and despite the relatively new and growing phenomenon of internet connectivity, an estimated one in ten women has already experienced some form of cyber violence since the age of fifteen. Access to the Internet is fast becoming a necessity for economic well-being and is increasingly recognized as a basic human right; It is therefore crucial to ensure that this digital public space is a safe and empowering place for everyone, including women and girls.
To better understand the nature and prevalence of online violence against women, the European Institute for Gender Equality (EIGE) recently conducted desk research aimed at identifying and reviewing the existing research on different forms of online violence against women analyze and assess the availability of surveys and administrative data on the phenomenon. The results of this research and the resulting recommendations form the basis of this paper.
What is cyber violence against women and girls?
To date, the Cyber-VAWG has not been fully designed or legislated at EU level. In addition, there was no gender-disaggregated EU-wide survey on the prevalence and harm of online violence against women, and there is limited research at national level in EU Member States. However, the available research suggests that women are disproportionately the target of certain forms of cyber violence compared to men. In a survey of more than 9,000 German Internet users aged 10 to 50, women were significantly more likely than men to be victims of sexual harassment on the Internet and cyber-stalking, and the effects of these forms of violence were more traumatic for the victims.
This finding is supported by a 2014 survey by the Pew Research Center in the United States, which found that while women are slightly more likely than women to experience relatively “mild” forms of online harassment (such as verbal abuse and embarrassment), women ( young women aged 18 to 24 in particular) experience disproportionately severe types of cyber harassment, namely cyber stalking and online sexual harassment.
The findings of these studies are corroborated by further research showing the limitations of a gender-blind approach to cyberviolence; The current evidence indicates that the forms of violence and the resulting harm are experienced differently by women and men.
Furthermore, experts have cautioned against conceptualizing cyber-VAWG as an entirely separate phenomenon from “real world” violence when in fact it is more appropriately viewed as a continuum of offline violence. For example, cyber stalking by a partner or ex-partner follows the same patterns as offline stalking and is therefore intimate partner violence simply facilitated by technology. Evidence confirms this continuum: a UK study of cyberstalking found that more than half (54%) of cases involved a first encounter in a real-life situation.
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