All forms of online violence and how to recognize it

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According to theEuropean Institute for Gender Equalityin Europe one in ten women has already suffered cyber violence at the age of 15 and seven out of ten have been attacked through cyberstalking. Of violence against women there is a lot of talk in this period of the year and as unfortunately it is often repeated the physical one is not the only one existing. Between various forms there is a less known one, probably because it is difficult to identify: the digital one.

According to the report The state of stalkerware 202171% of domestic violence perpetrators check their partner’s computer and 54% track their cell phones with specific software.

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To bring to light the most submerged aspects of the phenomenon and make women more aware, five European partners (European Network for the Work with Perpetrators of Domestic Violence, Fundación Blanquerna, Kaspersky, Una Casa per l’Uomo di Treviso and the Veneto Region) , in collaboration with the Coalition Against Stalkerware have developed the DeStalk projectone training, information and awareness campaign social that involves the network of DiRe anti-violence centers. and that of the centers for male perpetrators of gender-based violence Relive.

The digital dimension of violence is very broad and includes abuses that happen exclusively online and those offline facilitated by technology. Indeed, there is a continuity between the two spheres which should not be underestimated because although the medium is virtual, the abuse is always real.

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To defend yourself against online violence, you first need to recognize it. According to project experts DeStalk the most common forms ei signals that should not be underestimated.

Restricting digital access

If a partner or other person you prevents or limits the use of smartphones, PCs, tablets, apps or internet connections, with the aim of controlling you or isolating you from your social network is undoubtedly committing violence, regardless of the alleged motivations that lead to the justification of such gestures. The same is true if, while not actually implementing them, he threatens to do so.

Cyberstalking

Cyberstalking is an action taken to check online and offline movements of a person and then harass, threaten or carry out intimidation. This behavior can happen via theft of username or password to digital devices but also in a less subtle but direct way. Attention, therefore, to access requestspersonal data or passwords that had never been made before or communications from the other that become insistent or obsessive.

Cyber ​​surveillance

Cyber ​​surveillance is very similar and at times overlapping with cyberstalking and can take place not only with access to shared or unprotected devices, but also by installing spy apps in call devices stalkerwarewhich reveal all the movements made with that instrument and report them on the devices of the controller.

The alarm bells that may indicate the presence of similar programs on your smartphone are the temporary disappearance of the tool followed by the sudden reappearance, the battery draining faster than before, increased mobile data usage, and an unrecognizable app icon. Beware even if the person suspected of having installed the app quote parts of text messages or phone conversations you’ve had with other people.

They can be used to monitor the GPS of the car, the systems of video surveillance and the devices dsmart homes such as Google home or Alexa.

Cyberharassment and cyberbullying

Unfortunately the verbal insults and the forms of digital bullying they are very frequent and are implemented with the aim of humiliating or making the target feel uncomfortable.

If you receive unwanted emails, offensive or inappropriate requests on social media, messages in messenger chats, threats of physical or sexual violence you are the victim of an attack of this type.

It also falls into the category of undergoing hate speechor use of derogatory, offensive, threatening language and inappropriate or sexual comments on posts or online content.

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Non-consensual use of personal or intimate content

Also there circulationor the threat of spreading via computer means intimate pictures or videosprivate and/or manipulated by a woman without her consent is part of online violence and should be treated as such.

How to defend yourself from online violence

To protect yourself in advance and avoid as much as possible the possibility of falling victim to online violence or harassment, it is good to implement these actions.

Protect every digital device with a password or PIN that no one else knows and without using easily guessable words or codes such as birthdays, pet names or similar. Also avoid setting the same on each device.

Don’t save them on computers, smartphones, notebooks, diaries or sheets of paper at home or in the office.

Disable geolocation smartphone when not in use.

Check the settings of social media privacy choosing the most level tall.

Be careful what you post onlineespecially if it is content that can reveal one’s movements or other information or images that could be exploited to harm.

If you suspect you are a victim of digital violence, contact the Postal Police o contact an anti-violence center, being careful to do so from secure devices, to which the controlling person does not have access.

It is also essential to create new email, Google or iCloud accounts and change all passwords that may have been identified by the abuser.

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Source: Vanity Fair

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