- The World Health Organisation states that women are disproportionately the victims of violence worldwide
- The UN estimates that 95% of aggressive behaviour, harassment, abusive language and denigrating images in online spaces are aimed at women and come from partners or former male partners
- Both men and women are affected by cyberstalking, but a survey in India found that victims aged between 18-32 were predominantly female
- Research in Argentina shows that a woman’s mobile phone is one of the first items to be destroyed by a violent partner.
Information and communications technologies (ICTs) like the internet and mobile phones are a double-edged sword – they can be used byabusers to deepen their control and by survivors of violence to connect to help and by women’s rights defenders to inform, denounce and strategise to end violence.
Congolese researchers commented that it is common to find women and girls using an email account set up for them by a male who then keeps the password details. They state that the reverse is rarely occurs.
Persistent mobile calls from strangers: In a survey carried out for APC in Pakistan in 2009 approximately 94% of women respondents had received harassing calls and messages from men they did not know. Repeat calls from strangers were so common that most women had even stopped being bothered by them. One in 10 women receivedthreats from strangers and in one case the woman received death threats and decided to leave Pakistan.
Manipulating photographic images: In India, Delhi police note that of all cybercrime cases reported almost half are filed by women who discover their faces morphed onto pornographic images and posted online, usually accompanied by a personal phone number and an invitation for strangers to call (Weiting).
Fraudulent postings and advertisements: False postings to popular websites have led to violent attacks and harassment of women in the USA. A woman was raped by a stranger who said he was answering her Craigslist ad(www.google.com/hostednews/ap/article/ALeqM5gjkSsx7K3ot-ehcTMQi5nfMPvelQD9F886SG0). The woman’s ex-boyfriend had pretended to be her in the ad saying she was looking for a man to fulfil her violent rape fantasy. The ex-boyfriend and the man who answered the ad were charged.
Traffickers are using the internet to communicate with and recruit victims: Fake online “marriage agencies” are common in Colombia. As are web pages that advertise non-existent work or study opportunities and includethe photos and profiles of young people, many of whom end up in forced marriages, said researchers. In Mexico the Federal Police report that more than 600 children were recruited over the internet by child-trafficking criminal gangs in 2009. Mexican lawyer Teresa Ulloa reported that her anti-trafficking organisation received its first internet-related abduction case in 2005.