Online violence against women has become an endemic.
Notably, the U.S. government takes the position that harassment of a sexual or racial nature is a violation of Title VI of the Civil Rights Act. While the law does not “prohibit simple teasing, offhand comments, or isolated incidents that are not very serious,” it states “harassment is illegal when it is so frequent or severe that it creates a hostile or offensive environment.” Yet the same protection is not extended to the online workplace or Internet in general, leaving the door open for anonymous misogyny and bigotry that equate to hazards to individuals.
Online Harassment Data
- Women report being personally harassed online much more frequently than men, with the gender gap skewing 57% women to 43% men across all age groups.
- Online harassment significantly affects its targets, with 29% of the harassed stating that they were scared for their life and 20%, afraid to leave their homes.
- 62% of people surveyed think the laws are not strong enough for online harassment.