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An x-ray of sexist violence online

Posted on 05/03/2021
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Una radiografía de las violencias machistas en línea
Una radiografía de las violencias machistas en línea, for Piqsels. 2012. Licence: BY-SA

The article #PerAquíNoPassem published in La Directa, talks about sexist violence online, the data on its impacts, the current legal regulations and the self-defense strategies of the women who suffer them.

In Europe, 23% of women had suffered online harassment at least once in their life, that is, 1 in 10 had experienced some type of digital violence from the age of 15. This is how the article #PerAquíNoPassem explains it about sexist violence online.

The Association for Progress and Communications (APC) established in 2014 three main profiles of the victims of these attacks. Some trends evidenced by the APC are that young women between the ages of 18 and 30 are the most vulnerable and that 40% of assaults are committed by people they know.

  • Women with an intimate relationship of violence
  • Professionals with a public profile who participate in communication spaces as journalists
  • Researchers and / or artists, and survivors of physical or sexual violence.

At the Catalan level, the first specific data is to refer to the report "Les ciberviolències masclistes" of 2018-2019, prepared by Donestech and the research group of the University of Barcelona (UB) Antígona.

How does these types of violence affect the women who suffer them socially?

The Donestech report shows that of the 262 people surveyed, 70% have received more than one violence online. The most prevalent types of violence are:

  • Those related to insults or discriminatory expressions (54.6%)
  • Those that contemplate manipulation of private data (32.4%)
  • Threats to digital channels (30.9%), harassment towards them or their environment (27.9%)
  • Monitoring and surveillance of their movements (25.6%)
  • Gaslighting, that is, information falsified to confuse and harm (25.6%).

In addition, 30.12% of these violence are of a sexual nature, with the dissemination of images of women without consent.

How is the profile of the aggressors and perpetrators of the sexist violence online?

Sexist violence -also that which is online- are characterized by being carried out mainly by men. Furthermore, many of the perpetrators turn out to be acquaintances of the victims, often their partners or former partners or friends. The 2019 Cybercrime Study establishes that the profile of the aggressors are men between 26 and 40 years old.

Self defense strategies

The Association for Progress and Communications (APC), entities and activists defined in 2016 a list of principles to imagine a feminist Internet. Here you can find some self defense strategies for women.