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Online trolling of women linked to domestic violence

17:02 Sep 3 2013 London, UK

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Speaking before a conference on tackling online abuse, which will be attended by high-profile victims including the MP Stella Creasy and feminist writer and campaigner Caroline Criado-Perez, Polly Neate, chief executive of Women's Aid, said the links between domestic violence and online abuse were too often ignored.

"It is critical that we make the link between this vicious online harassment and cyberbullying and real-life violence against women," she said. "We need to understand that this is part of a domestic violence spectrum and we have to challenge this type of misogyny because it is the backdrop that allows that violence to take place."

Women's Aid supports 350 services throughout the country. Its survey of 307 domestic violence survivors showed 48% had been harassed or abused online by their ex-partner once they had left the relationship and 38% reported online stalking. A further 45% were abused online during their relationship.

Three-quarters of women were concerned that police did not know how best to respond to online abuse or harassment, while 12% had reported abuse to the police and said they had not been helped.
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