Women’s Aid responds to the victims’ commissioner’s online harms report


Today, the victims’ commissioner, Dame Vera Baird, published her report on online harms, showing the impact of online abuse and harassment. The research was commissioned to help inform and shape the government’s online safety bill, which aims to establish a new framework to tackle harmful online content.

Responding to the report, Zainab Gulamali, policy and public affairs manager at Women’s Aid, said:

“Women are more likely to experience online abuse, which is why the online safety bill must be revised to ensure that online abuse of women is taken more seriously, with specific measures introduced to protect women and girls from the vast amount of online abuse they face every day.

“The victims’ commissioner’s report shows just how traumatising online abuse can be, causing long-term emotional harm to survivors. At the very least, women need to see swift, respectful and effective responses when reporting abuse – both from online platforms and the police.

“If the bill does not recognise the particular challenges faced by women and girls online, it will struggle to protect them. We must see a truly cross-government approach to address violence against women and girls, both on- and offline.”

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