The UK’s new Online Safety Law must protect Women and Girls from Online Abuse

The UK’s new Online Safety Law must protect Women and Girls from Online Abuse

29 November 2021
Signatures: 100,706Next Goal: 150,000
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Why this petition matters

Women and girls are far more likely than men to experience online abuse, but the government is leaving women and girls out of the new law designed to make us all safer online. 

This abuse has many different forms:

  •  It is sexual photos and videos taken and/or posted without consent and uploaded to porn sites and shared on messaging apps.
  • It is ‘deepfakes’ being created with women’s faces on pornographic images.
  • It is cyberflashing
  • It is trolling, and offensive comments and threats.

All are experienced overwhelmingly by women, just because they are women. And done to them overwhelmingly by men.

“It feels like perpetrators are all around you and the experience made me nervous and paranoid...We didn’t feel supported by the police but we also didn’t feel like the law supported the police to get a prosecution either.”  Ruby, survivor of online abuse 

“These images and recordings managed to travel from my hometown, to where I now currently live, despite there being over 300 miles between the two locations. At the time, the uploads were shared/viewed approximately 8,000 times.” Madison, survivor of online abuse

“I feel angry that my sense of freedom has been corrupted by things I have no control over. Despite my best efforts, I cannot trick my brain into forgetting the trauma.” Georgie, survivor of online abuse

The government's new law is meant to make tech companies step up and act. But if the law doesn’t name the problem, then how will tech companies be made to fix it? 

Women and girls need to be free to use online spaces - to make the most of opportunities for learning, working, socialising, being part of a community and thriving. But as it stands, too many of us are being deliberately targeted for abuse, with 1 in 5 women experiencing online harassment or abuse. And social media platforms like Facebook, Instagram, Twitter and Youtube are doing nowhere near enough to stop it.

Black women and women of colour are targeted more, as we face not only sexist abuse but racist abuse online. Black women are 84% more likely to receive abusive or problematic tweets than white women. 

The government needs to listen NOW. This opportunity to make online spaces safer cannot be wasted. 

Sign this petition to demand that  the UK’s new online safety law protects women and girls from online abuse.  

Support now
Signatures: 100,706Next Goal: 150,000
Support now