The increasing reach of the internet, the rapid spread of mobile information, and the widespread use of social media, has led to the emergence of cyber violence against women and girls (VAWG) as a growing global problem with potentially significant economic and societal consequences.
Research by the World Health Organization shows that one in three women will have experienced a form of violence in her lifetime, and despite the relatively new and growing phenomenon of internet connectivity, it is estimated that one in ten women have already experienced a form of cyber violence since the age of 15. Access to the internet is fast becoming a necessity for economic well-being, and is increasingly viewed as a fundamental human right; therefore it is crucial to ensure that this digital public space is a safe and empowering place for everyone, including women and girls.
To date, cyber VAWG has not been fully conceptualised, defined or legislated against at EU level. In order to better understand the nature and prevalence of cyber VAWG, EIGE has recently conducted desk research that aimed to define certain harmful forms of cyber VAWG, identify and analyse existing research and gaps in research, assess the availability of survey and administrative data on the phenomenon, and identify relevant good practices in EU Member States.