Technology and new forms of media are huge enablers for women across the world. Digital and social media are vital tools for campaigning, challenging and raising awareness about gender inequality. However, they can also be used by those who wish to insult, harass and threaten women.
Both men and women experience abuse online but one of the significant factors of online abuse for women is the frequent use of threats of sexual violence and derogatory comments about women’s appearance and bodies. This experience aims to silence women and can feel isolating. The message of this website is that you are not alone. There is information about practical help on what to do and where you can get support if you need it.
Who: Peter Nunn who was jailed in Sept 2014 for sending abusive messages on Twitter to Labour MP Stella Creasy.
The Case: Peter Nunn, 33, from Bristol, tweeted menacing posts threatening to rape Stella Creasy. He launched what the prosecution called his “campaign of hatred” after the MP backed a high-profile drive by the feminist activist Caroline Criado-Perez to put the image of Jane Austen on the £10 note.
How the victim felt: Impact statements were read out to the court on behalf of both women, who spoke of the “terrifying” threats made against them.
The prosecutor said the messages had a “substantial” effect on Creasy, who felt increasing concern that individuals were seeking not only to cause her distress but also to cause her real harm which led her to fear for her own safety.
Outcome: Nunn was jailed for 18 weeks. The district judge Elizabeth Roscoe found him guilty of sending indecent, obscene or menacing messages. She also imposed a restraining order banning him from any contact with the MP.
Many women and men are concerned at the stereotypes and sexualised representations of women and girls in all forms of media. Such content can cause and reinforces harmful,
abusive and discriminatory behaviour towards women and undermines progress towards equal rights, opportunities and fair treatment. This website is about empowering people with information and assistance to identify, challenge and change online abuse, for the benefit of all women.
This page also provides guidance on how to take action against harmful, abusive and discriminatory stereotypes and sexualised representations of women online and in other forms of media including newspapers, TV, radio, adverts and music videos.
Women and men can be part of a movement for change. By challenging sexism and misogyny we can help tackle the root causes that underpin gender inequality both online and offline.