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eGirl Power Partners with the Center for Public Safety, DC to Establish the “Center of Public Safety for Women (CPSW)” to #StopGBV

Gender-based Violence (GBV) is a critical issue that affects 1 in 3 women in the U.S. at some point in…

By Girl Power News , in News , at October 26, 2022

Gender-based Violence (GBV) is a critical issue that affects 1 in 3 women in the U.S. at some point in their lifetime, and as October is Cybersecurity Awareness Month, we’d like to shed some light on how GBV is manifested online.

Amidst the many cyber threats that range from malware and phishing to much more, there is also a specific type of cyber threat that disproportionately targets females, LGBTQ+ and the youth and that is cyberstalking. Widely considered to be underreported, cyberstalking refers to someone using the internet or other telecommunication technologies to stalk or harass their target.

GBV encompasses the many forms of gender-based misconduct that occur in different contexts, including negative behaviors directed at an individual based on their gender, gender expression, or sex as well as behaviors that are sexual in nature. And online GBV in cyberstalking comes in many disturbing forms—from severe online harassment to sextortion to revenge porn—and it can lead to other violent crimes.

Research on online violence against females found that 58% of over 14,000 teenage girls and young women ages 15-25 experienced online forms of GBV, with the most prevalent types reported as: abusive language at 59%, intentional humiliation at 41%, and body shaming and sexual violence threats at 39%. For LGBTQ+ girls, over half were exposed to online harassment over their sexual or gender identity, and for ethnic minorities this number rises to 60%.

The psychological impacts of online GBV is significant. 38% of survey respondents reported mental and emotional stress, and 18% reported problems at school. 22% feared for their or their friends’ physical safety as a result of this online violence; and this is sadly a very valid concern. The most prevalent type of stalking is actually a combination of “traditional” stalking with cyberstalking; and in one study involving 358 homicides, 94% of the investigated murder cases involved stalking. Another report showed that 85% of females who survived attempted murder were also stalked.

These and other GBV issues are addressed in the #StopGBV Initiative, which is led by Amy Mintz, who founded the 501(c)3 nonprofit organization eGirl Power and established the partnership between eGirl Power and the Center for Public Safety in DC to form the “Center of Public Safety for Women (CPSW)” to combat GBV issues with a focus on campus safety for students enrolled in colleges and universities.

Mintz is also one of only five National Centers Academic Excellence in Cybersecurity (NCAE-C) PhD Scholars nationwide. She was awarded the NCAE-C PhD Scholarship from the U.S. National Security Agency (NSA). The NCAE-C program is managed by NSA’s National Cryptologic School. Federal partners include CISA, FBI, NIST/NICE, NSF, DOD and USCYBERCOM.

Visit https://stopgbv.org to learn more about the #StopGBV Initiative and ways that you can take action on GBV issues that disproportionately impact females, LGBTQ+ and other marginalized groups.