I don´t forward violence action

A 15-year old girl was drugged and raped by two boys at a school in South Africa in November 2010. The rape happened in front of other pupils who stood by, and recorded the incident on their mobile phones. No one tried to stop what was going on. And the rape continues - the video clip of the rape was distributed online and passed on through mobile phones. A similar incident happened in Canada in the same year, where photographs taken of a 16-year old girl who was drugged and raped at a rave party were posted and circulated on social networking sites, in emails and SMS. All this despite repeated attempts by the girl's family and police to stop it.

Organisations that work on survivors of domestic violence in Malaysia report that there has been an increase in calls from women - especially younger women - who are trapped in violent relationships because their husband or partner has intimate video clips or photographs of them. In February 2009, the issue hit national headlines when private photographs of a popular female public official was sent to a local daily. While the newspaper did not publish the pictures, they were subsequently posted and spread by individual users online and through MMS.

These are not isolated incidents.

Developments in information and communication technologies, or ICT, such as camera-enabled mobile phones, social networking and photo sharing sites make it very easy for users to document and share our private moments. This can have great potential to help us connect meaningfully with the people we know, such as our friends or family. It can also help us to shape and self-define our identity and the diverse realities we live in.

However, many of us also do not stop and think about the potential long-term impact of our action when we record, share and pass on information using ICT.

The culture of sharing is not accompanied by a culture of respecting our right to privacy and safety. Boyfriends and girlfriends rarely make commitments and plans to delete private photographs of each other when they snap them. What happens when the relationship breaks down and one of them decides to post them online? What about the people who receive and forward the images and videos? In each act of viewing and forwarding, they are continuing and replicating the violence.

What does the sharing of this material mean for the person who has been humiliated, or whose right to privacy has been severely violated? She has to live with the knowledge that what happened to her is being distributed, replicated and viewed by thousands even tens of thousands of people.

Many people think that it is ok to forward material like this. They argue that the damage is already done and that they are just doing what everyone else has done already by sharing it.

But the very act of passing it on is another act of violence. 

You have the power to stop the spread. Take a stand. Don’t forward.

I might be one of those victims is put on violent video

i was with a guy, but when I had a couple of drinks, it hit me pretty fast. Then we were going to have sex, but I didn't realize that he ended knocking me out and sexually hurting me and beating me. A couple of months later, some people i don't even know have been pointing applauding against me, calling me a whore. I think that guy might have recorded the whole scene. i feel so isolated, people who I may not know, just laugh and praise it, and it makes me sick. Because not only that, i don't even wanna show my face in this concert I've been wanting to go, because famous people also have youtube accounts and might have seen it. And it makes me feel that, after seeing a video, they can judge against me. i really wish youtube can take it out, because, im not sure, but he might have recorded my beating. Now I feel i don't deserve surrden things i wanted, to go out somewhere to an event and not have to worry if or not this video has existed and people look bad at me. And it kills me because, I went through something tragic. And most of people who were my friends, are not no more. But they're stupid enough to listen to him instead of really knowing that he had really took advantage by rough sex and beating he gave me. he made me bleed alot.

Standing with you

What a terrible experience - thank you for sharing this to highlight the awful consequences of violence against women, which are made worse by these kinds of cowardly online postings. You have the rights to privacy and dignity and to have thi material removed. is there any way to use technology to find out if this video exists? For example, could you upload a photo of this guy and search for this content as part of action to get it taken down? We would be happy to support this and stand up for your rights in solidarity JOy

standing with you

That is a terrible experience! You can request that the video be taken down from YouTube if it is there. It is NOT ok for that kind of violence to be forwarded. You are brave to report this here and to start speaking about it. You do NOT deserve this at ALL. Sending you strength and solidarity. Jenny

In solidarity and action

Thank you for sharing your story. It took a lot of courage and strength, and we truly appreciate and support you for this. I want you to know that you are not alone, and it is absolutely not your fault that this has happened. And you need not feel ashamed. I am outraged by your experience, and I would like to extend my solidarity and support. If you know where the videos are published, we will start a letter-writing petition to have those videos removed and deleted. YouTube usually does not allow publishing of videos which are explicitly violent or sexual, if it is there, we will do all we can to make sure it is removed and to hold YouTube accountable for allowing this to happen.

We are also beginning to map experiences of women and girls all over the world on acts of violence against women that is compounded and impacted by the use of ICT. If you are comfortable with it, you can add your story to the map and know that you are not alone in this, and there is an entire movement who are working to end such violence. You can add your story to the map here: www.takebackthetech.net/mapit

Sending you solidarity, strength and a commitment to support.



Not isolated

You´re right, it is not isolated! Who is to blame and what can we do?  Not forwarding is obvious.  But as you say now it is actually a culture of sharing, of witnessing, documenting... where is the agency in that? Documenting a rape on the spot instead of stopping it?