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 Table of Contents  
SHORT COMMUNICATION
Year : 2022  |  Volume : 9  |  Issue : 2  |  Page : 260-262

Bodyright campaign: Minimizing the incidence of online violence against women


1 Medical Education Unit Coordinator and Member of the Institute Research Council, Department of Community Medicine, Shri Sathya Sai Medical College and Research Institute, Sri Balaji Vidyapeeth—Deemed to be University, Ammapettai, Nellikuppam, Chengalpet District, Tamil Nadu, India
2 Department of Community Medicine, Shri Sathya Sai Medical College and Research Institute, Sri Balaji Vidyapeeth—Deemed to be University, Ammapettai, Nellikuppam, Chengalpet District, Tamil Nadu, India

Date of Submission06-Dec-2021
Date of Acceptance30-Mar-2022
Date of Web Publication17-Jun-2022

Correspondence Address:
Dr. Saurabh RamBihariLal Shrivastava
Department of Community Medicine, Shri Sathya Sai Medical College and Research Institute, Sri Balaji Vidyapeeth (SBV)—Deemed to be University, Thiruporur–Guduvancherry Main Road, Ammapettai, Nellikuppam, Chengalpet District 603108, Tamil Nadu
India
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None


DOI: 10.4103/mgmj.mgmj_104_21

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  Abstract 

Gender-based violence refers to all forms of detrimental actions to target a single person or a group of them depending on their gender. This predominantly includes violence directed against women and includes all forms of violence (in the real world to online violence). We must understand and accept that even though these incidents are happening in the online world, the internet has become such an integral part of human life that the outcome of such violence is seen in the real life. The United Nations Population Fund has initiated a new online campaign in the name of Bodyrights, which is the new copyright mark to proclaim and demand security from the various incidents of digital violence. To conclude, gender-based violence has been reported universally, and the same things are on the rise even on the online platform, wherein women and girls are being targeted and their dignity and reputation are being tarnished. This calls for the need to raise to the occasion and the policy-makers and the technology companies should offer complete support to not only punish the offenders but even reduce the incidence of such events in the present and the future.

Keywords: Bodyright, gender-based violence, United Nations Population Fund


How to cite this article:
Shrivastava SR, Shrivastava PS. Bodyright campaign: Minimizing the incidence of online violence against women. MGM J Med Sci 2022;9:260-2

How to cite this URL:
Shrivastava SR, Shrivastava PS. Bodyright campaign: Minimizing the incidence of online violence against women. MGM J Med Sci [serial online] 2022 [cited 2022 Jul 6];9:260-2. Available from: http://www.mgmjms.com/text.asp?2022/9/2/260/347696




  Introduction Top


Gender-based violence refers to all forms of detrimental actions to target a single person or a group of them depending on their gender. This predominantly includes violence directed against women and includes all forms of violence (physical, mental, sexual) in the real world to online violence (viz., cyberbullying, cyber-flashing, publicly revealing previous private information via the internet, hate speech, sexual harassment, employment of deepfakes, revenge porn, etc.).[1] These episodes of online violence are extremely prevalent, repetitive in nature, reported across the world, and tend to have disturbing consequences for women, their identity, and their families.[1],[2]


  ONLINE ABUSE: A GLOBAL CONCERN Top


The available estimates depict that 85% of the women have witnessed online violence, whereas close to 4 out of 10 women have personally experienced the same.[1] In addition, pictures or videos of more than 55% of women were either misused or abused, whereas more than 95% of the online deep fake videos are pornography, all involving women.[1] These are all major concerns and reflect that women are being devaluated on the online platform, which in turn accounts for psychological and emotional stress.[3] More than 90% of women revealed that online violence resulted in a direct impact on their well-being, whereas more than 33% of the women reported psychological issues because of the same.[1]

We must understand and accept that even though these incidents are happening in the online world, the internet has become such an integral part of human life that the outcome of such violence is seen in real-life and the targeted people have to live their lives with a sense of fear, anxiety, and damage to self-esteem.[2],[3] In other words, we cannot ignore that such incidents significantly impact the prospects of their career and financial livelihood by damaging their dignity. In real words, online violence has to be acknowledged as an important form of violation of human rights and should be prioritized by all the concerned stakeholders for immediate attention and prompt action.[1],[2],[3]


  Bodyright and its necessity Top


The United Nations Population Fund has initiated a new online campaign in the name of Bodyright, which is the new copyright mark to proclaim and demand security from the various incidents of digital violence.[1] Under this campaign, it has been envisaged to add the ⓑ symbol to any picture of the human body that is being posted on any of the online platforms or media. The idea is to attract the attention of the policymakers and the technology companies to consider the issue of online abuse as one form of violation of human rights and thus acknowledge the same as copyright infringement (as is being done for various other kinds of things—audio, video, documents, etc.).[1]

Acknowledging the universal distribution of online violence and its rising incidence, it is the need of the hour to give special attention to gender-based violence.[4] Further, we also have to accept that women for ages are being considered inferior and this has been increasing in the online platform as well. Moreover, people from marginalized communities are being abused repeatedly and this has to stop. The addition of the symbol to their photo by different people, including any social media user, will be a mark of supporting the global campaign to end online violence, especially because it has still not been given attention by the policymakers.[2],[3],[4]

In general, the legal provisions or laws have not been revamped when compared with the advancement that has been reported on the technological front. The findings of a published report revealed that 74% of the nations have not enforced appropriate laws to promote remedial actions to respond to online violence against women.[1] In continuation, even in those nations wherein laws are there, on the implementation front, they have been quite variable in different parts and this completely defeats the intended purpose. We have to ensure that women who need justice for their human rights violations are not subjected to another bad experience. All these factors justify the call for the need to acknowledge our role and the need to work together to ensure online protection for all women universally.[1]


  The expected role of stakeholders Top


Any corrective action has to start from the Government, wherein strict and adequate laws are added in the judiciary system of the nation and are subsequently uniformly implemented in the different parts of the nation.[4] The legal provisions have to criminalize such actions and punish the offenders, and this cannot happen without the support of technology companies or various social media platforms. The technology companies, including digital and social media, should envisage the same kind of protection to women and girls as that of copyrighted material.[1] Women must have more control concerning the people who can interact with them or access the content posted by them.

In addition, there should be better mechanisms to report any kind of online abuse, and these companies should be proactive in removing such kinds of posts based on the request received from the victims, and not unnecessarily wait for legal permission.[1] Considering that these stakeholders are the leaders, we look forward to an online space that is safe and inclusive for everyone including women and girls.[1] There is an immense need to educate women and girls about such kinds of online violence and the actions that need to be taken to prevent the same.[5],[6],[7] With all that what’s happening around, it is high time that women and girls start demanding their autonomy, and the other stakeholders should support them to minimize the incidence of gender-based violence.[2],[3],[4],[5]


  Conclusion Top


To conclude, gender-based violence has been reported universally and the same things are on the rise even on the online platform, wherein women and girls are being targeted and their dignity and reputation are being tarnished. This calls for the need to raise to the occasion, and the policymakers and the technology companies should offer complete support to not only punish the offenders but even reduce the incidence of such events in the present and the future.

Financial support and sponsorship

Nil.

Conflicts of interest

There are no conflicts of interest.



 
  References Top

1.
United Nations Population Fund. Introducing New Copyright for the Human Body. Available from: https://www.unfpa.org/bodyright. [Last accessed on December 6, 2021].  Back to cited text no. 1
    
2.
Gracia-Leiva M, Puente-Martínez A, Ubillos-Landa S, González-Castro JL, Páez-Rovira D Off- and online heterosexual dating violence, perceived attachment to parents and peers and suicide risk in young women. Int J Environ Res Public Health 2020;17:3174.  Back to cited text no. 2
    
3.
Say GN, Babadağı Z, Karabekiroğlu K, Yüce M, Akbaş S Abuse characteristics and psychiatric consequences associated with online sexual abuse. Cyberpsychol Behav Soc Netw 2015;18:333-6.  Back to cited text no. 3
    
4.
World Health Organization. Violence Against Women—Key Facts. Available from: https://www.who.int/news-room/fact-sheets/detail/violence-against-women. [Last accessed on December 6, 2021].  Back to cited text no. 4
    
5.
O’Brien KM, Sauber EW, Kearney MS, Venaglia RB, Lemay EP Jr. Evaluating the effectiveness of an online intervention to educate college students about dating violence and bystander responses. J Interpers Violence 2021;36:NP7516-46.  Back to cited text no. 5
    
6.
Henry N, Flynn A Image-based sexual abuse: Online distribution channels and illicit communities of support. Violence Against Women 2019;25:1932-55.  Back to cited text no. 6
    
7.
Ejaz FK, Rose M, Anetzberger G Development and implementation of online training modules on abuse, neglect, and exploitation. J Elder Abuse Negl 2017;29:73-101.  Back to cited text no. 7
    




 

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Abstract
Introduction
ONLINE ABUSE: A ...
Bodyright and it...
The expected rol...
Conclusion
References

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