Hivos International

Victimised through the click of a mouse #16Days16Voices

In a digital society, friends and enemies are made all over the world via social sites and relationships are solidified or broken by 'hashtags' or 'selfies'. While online media has served many well, there has been a tragic global increase of its misuse through online victimization and gender targeted attacks. Perpetrators no longer need to look in the eyes of their victims as they spew violent, emotionally and sexually charged speech. Many countries have come up with legislation to thwart this trending violence, however as digital innovation grows, those that hide behind a keyboard become harder to find and prosecute.

The use of technology through social media has brought about a new surge of gender based violence, internet trolls who spread fake news online attack the morality and self-esteem of their victims a form of verbal online violence that mainly targets women. Women who dare to challenge the social norms, patriarchy and political structures are mainly attacked with the threat of physical or sexual violence to silence them.

For Day 2 of #16Days16Voices we feature popular political Zimbabwean activist Linda Masarira, who became popular for carrying the torch of #OccupyAfricaUnitySquare together with many others after the abduction of Itai Dzamara in March of 2017. Her arrest and detention where highly publicized, however with publicity came online harassment and personal attacks.

Linda shares her experiences and her history with GBV: