A platform for voices supporting women's rights
Women’s Aid, a UK-based organisation helping women through domestic violence, has recently revealed the startling statistics of its most recent survey of domestic violence survivors. They found that a staggering 48% of respondents had experienced harassment or abuse online from their ex-partner after leaving the relationship, and 38% reported being stalked online.
Feminist campaigner Criado-Perez has stated that policing is not moving quick enough to deal with the perpetrators of online abuse and systems need to be put in place to protect women online. She describes online abuse as a “vocalisation of a culture where domestic violence is still hushed up and not spoken about, a culture where two women can die a week at the hands of an abusive partner or ex-partner and it’s not even shocking”. Currently, Criado-Perez says, too much focus is placed on the actions of the victim not to “feed” the trolls or retaliate, rather than focusing efforts on mechanisms that can detect and deal with abuse when it occurs.
One suggestion for protecting women on Twitter comes from the MP for Walthamstow who received rape and death threats via the social media site. “I was told my attacker would fuck my dead corpse – it’s grim. If people want to create worry and fear then that is worrying. I want the police and other services to be able to understand the impact of these messages. I don’t want them to tell me how to learn to cope – I want to hear they are doing something about it…”. The MP suggests installing a “panic button” on the site so that women can report trolling immediately and hopes that this will go someway to help it being recognised as abuse.