Online Violence Against Women


I came across this Mashable article via my LinkedIn account. It’s a must-read and a worthy share. So please pass it on:

http://mashable.com/2016/09/06/social-media-violence-women/#wYyn8F8uPGqp

The internet is increasingly being used to commit violent offenses against women

LONDON — Crimes which involve use of the internet, social media and other forms of technology to “humiliate, control and threaten” women are on the rise, according to a new report by the Crown Prosecution Service (CPS).

“Cyber-enabled crime” is a growing trend comprising forms of cyber-stalking, the disclosure of private sexual images without consent, and controlling or coercive behaviour, the CPS’Violence Against Women and Girls report reveals.

These crimes are being committed via social media platforms, emails, text messages, apps, spyware and GPS tracking software.

“This is because developments in technology have created a new landscape for controlling, sexually-motivated or other forms of inter-personal offending,” reads the report.

The report also explored data on the new criminal offence of disclosing private sexual images without consent, also known as “revenge pornography”. The CPS describes the offence as “typically” involving “an adult ex-partner uploading onto the internet intimate sexual images of the victim”.

Since its introduction in April 2015, 206 revenge porn prosecutions have been made relating to the offence of “disclosing private sexual photographs and films with an intent to cause distress”.

“We welcome the fact that the new legislation around revenge pornography is being used – but this is only a small number of convictions for a crime that we know is something many survivors of domestic abuse face,” said Polly Neate, Chief Executive of domestic abuse charity Women’s Aid, in a statement.

The number of prosecutions under the Malicious Communications Act — the offence of sending someone a message with intent to cause distress or anxiety — has also risen; something the CPS feels is a result of “the rise of the use of technology and the internet”.

“We have also found that defendants in controlling or coercive cases rely on tactics such as GPS tracking and monitoring phone or email messages,” Alison Saunders — director of public prosecutions  — said in a statement.

The report noted that in 2015/16 the volume of domestic abuse, rape and sexual offences convictions has increased to the the highest level ever record, and the volume of prosecutions for stalking and harassment was the highest ever.

“It is also positive to see the conviction rate in domestic abuse cases rising again this year. However, we believe there are still major improvements to be made,” Neate said.

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