Dundee Family Lawyer

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Women’s Aid calls for more action on online abuse

Domestic abuse charity Women’s Aid has called for greater action to address worrying levels of online stalking and harassment of women and girls.

The charity recently hosted a conference to discuss the impact of cyber stalking and harassment on women across England.  It is raising concerns that continued cuts to services supporting women experiencing domestic violence may leave some providers unable to keep up with changing technology to protect women on- and off-line.

Women's Aid used the conference to make four calls for action on online abuse in England:

  • Online stalking and harassment is a crime, and it should be recognised as such. Police forces must have policies in place to ensure they are dealing with online abuse as the law requires.
  • Online stalking and harassment is part of a pattern of behaviour which encompasses online trolling and street harassment as well as domestic violence and femicide. Many perpetrators of domestic violence use online abuse as a way of controlling their partners. Police forces, social media platforms and others must take responsibility for stopping online abuse to address violence against women.
  • The government needs to stop the pincer movement of funding cuts to specialist, gender specific, holistic services for survivors of domestic violence if services are to make a difference in the long-term. The removal of ringfenced  funding for specialist services and the localisation of funding decisions on provision of specialist services have led to significant cuts to services supporting women experiencing domestic violence.
  • The police must ensure all officers are given specialist training at the start of their careers and regular refresher training thereafter in domestic violence, including online abuse.

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For specialist family law advice, including advice on domestic violence issues, give us a call today on 01382 234 348 or complete our online enquiry form.

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