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European Parliament Calls For Online Violence Against Women To Be Made A Crime In Europe

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The European Parliament is calling for online violence against women to be classified as a crime throughout the entirety of Europe, in hopes of eradicating it.

The step is an important one in terms of addressing women’s rights and issues, as many women have faced online violence in their lives.

“This is a monumental and much-needed step for women’s rights in the EU and comes as an initiative of the EPP Group”, stressed Elissavet Vozemberg-Vrionidi MEP and Maria Walsh MEP.

Vozemberg was the one that drafted the Parliament’s Report, on behalf of the Women’s Rights and Gender Equality Committee.

On average, around one in every five women aged between 18 and 29 have reported counts of cyber sexual harassment in the EU.

Gender-based violence is definitely an issue and one that needs to be addressed, as it continues to impact various aspects of society. 

“Gender-based cyber violence is a growing phenomenon that has a significant impact on victims, on their dignity, and in all aspects of their lives. This form of violence is a continuum of offline gender-based violence,” said Vozemberg.

“In the digital era, the internet has facilitated a wide range of emerging forms of violence, ranging from posting offensive comments and images to hate speech, bullying and sexual abuse.”

The growth of the internet has most definitely made it easier for people to get away with hateful comments, and this is why a clamp-down is necessary. 

“We must put a stop to online abuse. It is simply not good enough for the European Union and policymakers across the Member States and platforms to fail to protect our citizens online, especially our women and girls”, underlined Walsh.

The Commissioner is being urged to make gender-based violence a criminal offense that is recognised across all of Europe.

This article is part of a content series called Ewropej. This is a multi-newsroom initiative part-funded by the European Parliament to bring the work of the EP closer to the citizens of Malta and keep them informed about matters that affect their daily lives. This article reflects only the author’s view. The European Parliament is not responsible for any use that may be made of the information it contains.

Do you think cyber-based violence should be made a crime? 

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When Sasha (formerly known as Sasha Tas-Sigar) is not busy writing about environmental injustice, she's probably fighting for women's rights. Follow her at @saaxhaa on Instagram, and send her anything related to the environment, art, and women's rights at [email protected]

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