• Heal And Chill

WHAT YOU NEED TO KNOW ABOUT ONLINE SEXUAL ASSAULT AND HARASSMENT


This year's theme of Sexual Assault Awareness Month is building a safe online space. One of the major problems we face online is Online Sexual Harassment.

Online sexual harassment is unwanted sexual behaviour on any digital platform. It can happen between anyone online, but this specifically focuses on peer-to- peer incidences.

Online sexual harassment can include a wide range of behaviours that use digital content (images, videos, posts, messages, pages) on a variety of different online platforms (private or public).

This can make a person feel :

  • Threatened

  • Scared

  • Sexualized

  • Upset

  • Humiliated

  • And even discriminated against.

There are four distinct forms of online sexual abuse.

  • Private image and video sharing without consent or taken withtout their consent

  • Threats, intimidation, and abuse online

  • Bullying that is sexualized

  • Unwanted sexualization


Sharing of private images and videos without consent


This involves a series of acts such as:

  • Without permission or consent, pornographic images/videos (also known as 'creep shots' or 'upskirting') are taken.

  • Consensual sexual images/videos that are shared without permission, ‘revenge porn'.

  • Non-consensual sexual acts (such as rape) are digitally recorded (and potentially shared).


Threats, intimidation, and abuse online

This involves acts such as :

  • Online attacks, bullying, and harassment.

  • An individual who is threatened sexually, is forced to engage in sexual behaviour online, or is blackmailed with sexual content.

  • Harassing or threatening others to upload pornographic images or engage in sexual activity on the internet or offline.

  • Threatening to post sexually explicit material online.

Sexualized Bullying


A individual who is degraded, angered, or discriminated against by a group or culture by the use of sexual material that humiliates, upsets, or discriminates against them.


This can involve a number of acts, such as:

  • Internet gossip, speculation, or lies about sexual conduct, either directly or indirectly mentioning or alluding to others.By posting sexual material or sexually bullying someone, you will impersonate others and harm their image.

  • Non-consensual public sharing of personal information to promote sexual harassment (‘doxing')

  • Being bullied because of one's identity and/or sexual orientation, whether real or imagined

  • Body Shame

Unwanted Sexualization


When an individual is exposed to inappropriate sexual advances, remarks, and material.

This can involve a number of acts, such as:

  • Posts that are sexualized.

  • People being pressured to engage in sexualized viral campaigns.

  • Sending pornographic content (images, emojis, messages) to others without their permission or consent.

  • Unwanted sexual advances or demands for sexual favors by a sexual nature or sexual jokes.


GENDER PERSPECTIVE

Sexual assault of this nature occurs in a gendered perspective and is deeply rooted in systemic inequalities between men and women. Women and girls suffer overwhelmingly unfavorable consequences and interactions as a result of this. Girls are more likely than boys to be subjected to online sexual abuse, especially in certain ways, with these cases often culminating in criminal charges.


To make a difference, we must be able to hold frank and open conversations about sexual abuse and demonstrate that it exists online just as much as it does wherever.

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