We cannot wait 2 years to protect women and girls from online abuse and violence

Today Justice Minister Paul Maynard and Digital Secretary Jeremy Wright have launched a public consultation to help with a review of the law around ‘cyber-flashing’, ‘revenge porn’ and ‘deepfake’ pornography to ensure the law protects victims and is fit for the modern age. Whilst we welcome today’s announcement and focus on online gender based abuse and violence towards women and girls, we agree with End Violence Against Women Coalition, we cannot wait two years before action is taken to tackle online abuse. 

Evidence is already available and it is strong. Women and girls are disproportionately affected by online abuse such as “revenge porn”, deepfakes and cyber-flashing. Waiting for more than two years for action is not acceptable. Such a wait also creates risks. That is because the tactics used by the perpetrators of online abuse evolve so quickly. We have huge concerns that recommendations given in 2021 will already be out of date, and new forms of abuse will already have emerged for which there will be no legal response.

In short, Government needs to act more quickly and more boldly.
We can act now. Glitch strongly recommends the Government ringfence 1% of the new digital services tax and invest in digital citizenship education, in the enforcement of existing laws and better empower civil society groups providing essential services and support with online abuse.

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Glitch is a UK registered charity. Charity number: 1187714
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