Survey: Glitch & EVAW examine online abuse during Covid-19

New survey aims to examine the gendered impact of online abuse during Covid-19; results published in Summer

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Anti-online abuse charity, Glitch, and the End Violence Against Women Coalition (EVAW) have today (12 June) launched a survey into how Covid-19 is impacting gender-based online violence for women and non-binary people.

 

Both Glitch and the EVAW have campaigned against the gendered impact of online abuse, and highlighted the disproportionate risks of Covid-19 on women. Whilst there has been media reporting about increased online abuse during the pandemic, there has been no investigation of the likely gendered effect of increased internet usage during Covid-19.

This survey seeks to gather reliable data about the proportion of women facing online abuse. This data will then be used to raise awareness of the potential online risks that Covid-19 has exposed women and non-binary people to, as well as inform Glitch and EVAW’s continued Covid-19 response, and resources. Glitch and EVAW are particularly interested in the disproportionate risk that Covid-19 may pose for women and non-binary people of colour.

 

Glitch Founder and Executive Director Seyi Akiwowo, said:

 

“As a charity focused on ending online abuse and making the online space safe for all, at Glitch we know that data is the crucial first step to addressing the problem.

 

“While we have seen positive uses of online technology tools from digital citizens, there are too few reports examining the impact of lockdown measures on online gender based violence and health and safety at work. Living rooms, kitchen tables and gardens turned into improvised workplaces, while sociability for millions took the shape of Friday night drinks on Zoom and virtual pub quizzes.

 

“Glitch is concerned about the wellbeing and online safety of employees and volunteers, and their ability to access support and expert advice if they face online abuse in this new work environment, and the lack of guidance for employers on how to respond to such situations.  Before lockdown measures women and non-binary people were disproportionately affected by online abuse, and with emerging news stories we are greatly concerned this will worsen during covid-19. It is important that we ensure that women and non-binary people are listened to, and that any harms are tackled, and in order for that to happen we need the data.”

 

EVAW Director, Sarah Green, said:

 

“Covid-19 has made life worse for women in so many ways. We predicted at the start of this crisis that online abuse, along with other forms of domestic & sexual violence would increase. Hearing from women directly will help us push for changes in the digital world and get the government to take online abuse of women & girls seriously. With more of us spending time online in this pandemic all women and non-binary people should be free to engage with online spaces without worrying about or experiencing abuse.”

 

Glitch and EVAW will publish the results in July and aim to provoke a conversation about the nature of online abuse and what is needed to tackle it. The survey can be found here: https://www.surveymonkey.co.uk/r/OnlineAbuseCovid19 and runs until 12th July 2020.

 

ENDS

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