Cyberviolence happens in Canada and around the world. According to the Ottawa Coalition to End Violence Against Women, "Girls and young women 'appear to experience higher rates of sexual violence associated with social media.'" Here's how you can help to stop it:
Know what to look for
Cyberviolence has many forms and to end it we need to know how to identify it. Visit our Week Without Violence page to learn more about how to identify different types of cyberviolence.
When it is safe, intervene
If you see someone receiving negative comments on social media or it looks like they are being attacked, send them a private message to find out if they are OK and ask them if they need support. They might need to talk to their parents, friends and employers, or to organizations like the YWCA. If you think someone has set up a fake profile of someone or is posting harmful photos and updates about someone, report it.
If you are experiencing cyberviolence, get help
Reach out to someone you trust – a family member, friend, teacher or guardian. You do not have to go through this alone. Check out this website to learn ways to combat cyberviolence. You can also report online attacks, harassment and violence to your local police department.
Don’t be a part of it
Sometimes it might be easier to say nothing when you see someone being attacked online. But saying nothing or being a bystander can make the problem even worse. We should all be part of combatting violence. Be an ally and if you see someone being attacked online, think about intervening.
Report online bullying to the social media sites where it is taking place and block the person responsible.
- YouTube - Safety Centre
- Instagram – block a user or report something
- Tumblr – how to "ignore" (block) someone
Discuss cyberviolence with your family, friends and colleagues and encourage them to be aware of how it affects women and girls.
Teach media literacy by asking girls and boys to think about the effects of online bullying and harassment and what it means to be more than just a bystander.
Use your voice
Use social media to get your message out the importance of taking a stand against cyberviolence. Post articles and facts, and start important conversations with your online communities.
Interested in getting involved is YWCA advocacy efforts like these?
Contact Chantelle Krish: 604 895 5767 / firstname.lastname@example.org