#DigitalRespect4Her, a campaign against online violence against girls and women
- BIK Team
Commissioners for Justice, Consumers and Gender Equality Věra Jourová and for Digital Economy and Society Mariya Gabriel launched #DigitalRespect4Her on Tuesday, 16 April 2019, with Members of the European Parliament, including President Antonio Tajani. This campaign aims to raise awareness of the violence that women face online on a daily basis.
In a joint statement, the two Commissioners said that "dignity, respect and solidarity apply to all of us, also online. Yet, sadly, reality is far from this, especially for women and girls, who are 27 times more likely to be harassed online than men are. It is time to step up the response to online violence. We cannot stay idle and encourage those that cowardly target women and girls online. We have to act and call it out" (read the full statement on the European Commission's website).
Indeed, women experience gender-specific online violence, whether it is through social media, messaging apps, online forums, video-sharing websites, or video games. This can lead to psychological, physical, sexual and economic harm. It also prompts numerous women to limit their online activities. This self-censorship, in turn, restricts women's participation in societal debates, their influence in politics, and undermines representative democratic processes.
For more information, download the #DigitalRespect4Her factsheet, available in all 24 European languages, and read a series of eye-opening testimonies from female public figures who deal or have dealt with gender-based online violence. Additionally, please keep an eye on the BIK portal for an upcoming series of articles on young girls' rights in the digital era.
To support the #DigitalRespect4Her campaign, feel free to add a Twibbon badge to your social media profiles, follow the accounts of Commissioner Gabriel and Commissioner Jourová, and share your story and support the campaign on social media by using #DigitalRespect4Her.
Please note: the testimonies are to be communicated by the authors in their own name. They do not constitute an opinion of the European Commission nor endorsement by the European Commission.
- BIK Team
The #DigitalRespect4Her campaign is an initiative launched by Commissioners for Justice, Consumers and Gender Equality Věra Jourová and for Digital Economy and Society Mariya Gabriel to raise awareness of the gender-specific violence young girls and women face online on a daily basis. Indeed, women are 27 times more likely than men to be harassed online (this includes online sexual harassment and stalking) and they sometimes face such abuse at a very young age.
- SELMA project
Hate speech is increasingly common on social media; but that does not make it any less problematic. A recent study released by the SELMA (Social and Emotional Learning for Mutual Awareness) project shows how online hate speech has become an inevitable part of young people's daily experiences online, with education and awareness-raising efforts on the topic lagging behind. To complement existing initiatives to regulate, monitor or report online hate speech, a more pro-active answer is needed.
- Austrian Safer Internet Centre
In May 2018, Austrian helpline "147 Rat auf Draht" and SOS Kinderdorf jointly released a study on how young people in Austria are affected by sexual harassment – in particular, grooming – and violence online.
- Danish, Hungarian and UK Safer Internet Centres
Recent research published by Project deSHAME, a Europe-wide collaboration, reveals that young people across Europe are being targeted by their peers with online sexual harassment, defined as unwanted sexual conduct, across a range of digital platforms.