Cyber violence is an online behavior that assaults the well-being of a person or group, causing physical, sexual, psychological, emotional or economic harm to them. It is the repetitive abuse of another through technology-assisted means. For example the aim of the abuse can be to control the other, humiliating others, to force someone into activities, which he or she doesn’t want to do.
The lingering impact of cyber-violence has huge psychological and physical consequences, although it seems to be unseen. Survivors of tech-driven violence have experienced anxiety, sleeplessness, stress and feelings of being constantly watched.
This non-physical abuse can have very real physical effects on the body and hence this form of violence is just as dangerous as any physical violence.
Abusive persons coerce, control, and threaten victims, infiltrate another’s online presence, use tech to isolate, humiliate, punish, and stalk their victims.
Sexualized or intimate content is used to control or humiliate the victim.
CYBER VIOLENCE AGAINST WOMEN & GIRLS
Although cyber violence can affect both women and men, women and girls experience different and more traumatic forms of cyber violence. There are various forms of cyber violence against women and girls, including, but not limited to, cyber stalking, non-consensual pornography (or ‘revenge porn’), gender-based slurs, hate speech and harassment, ‘slut-shaming’, unsolicited pornography, ‘sextortion’, rape threats and death threats, and electronically facilitated trafficking. Cyber violence is not a separate phenomenon to offline violence, as it often follows the same pattern.”
The Union Agency for Fundamental Rights (FRA) survey’s on violence against women showed that 20% of young women (18-29) in the EU have experienced cyber sexual harassment since the age of 15 and 77% of women who have experienced cyber harassment have also experienced at least one form of sexual or/and physical violence from an intimate partner.
DIGITAL DATING ABUSE
“Digital dating abuse is the use of technologies such as texting & social networking to bully, harass, stalk or intimidate a partner. Often this behavior is a form of verbal or emotional abuse perpetrated online.”
CYBER SEXUAL VIOLENCE
“There is no universally-accepted definition of cybersexual violence. However, it can be described as using social media and communication technologies for the following:
- Sexual comments or advances
- Attempts to obtain a sexual act
- Unwanted sexual acts
- Sexual coercion
It can also be spreading rumors online, sending damaging messages, photos or videos, impersonation and much more. All these behaviours aim to damage a person’s feelings, self-esteem, reputation and mental health.”