Handbook on Decoding online violence

In this handbook, we seek the causes of the persistent online violence, the ways in which it manifests and the target groups. Nevertheless, we strive for the betterment of womxn on the global web. Decoding Online Violence Handbook.

Networking Meeting by Ubuntu Law and Justice Center

HER Internet has been part of a networking meeting organized by Ubuntu Law and Justice Centre. One of the objectives of this meeting was to Localise the Global Advocacy Strategy among the diverse Key Populations groups in Uganda. The Global Advocacy Strategy focuses on supporting and strengthening key population movements to build and organize, particularly by increasing the presence and visibility of young key populations through partnerships and building the capacity of key population networks at national and regional levels to push governments and partners to take action to address human rights, gender equality, violence, criminalization, stigma, and discrimination.

Accelerator Campaign

HER Internet is part of the accelerator campaign in partnership with Sexual Minorities Uganda (SMUG) and Amnesty Denmark. In light of the Sexual Offences Bill being passed by the parliament of Uganda, the campaign under #RepealSOBUg and #DeleteClause11 started off by the accelerators visiting various partners and allies in order to revisit commitments of allyship and strengthen existing partnerships with them and the LGBTQ community. The month of May was also significant to kickstart the campaign to celebrate and honor the International day against Homophobia, Biphobia, and Transphobia (IDAHOBIT). All the organizations reached pledged to create safe spaces for LGBTQ persons in Uganda.

Introduction to the Handbook

Uganda has seen tremendous growth in mobile penetration, and access to the internet; for example, teledensity estimates in 2015 were 64%. The country also continues to experience growth in the internet subscription, with a 37.4% internet penetration rate in the same time period. With these advancements in access, there is also a marked rise in the incidence of cybercrime such as fraud, hacking and identity theft.

An increasingly worrying trend amongst cybercrimes is online violence against womxn and the numbers increase exponentially. When queer womxn, non-binary persons and sex workers are added to the equation.

In the recent U.N. report, cyber violence was found to be just as damaging to womxn as physical violence. The report goes on to indicate that womxn are becoming increasingly vulnerable to cyber violence with growing access to internet across the world, which could in turn detrimentally impede the uptake of broadband services by girls and womxn worldwide.

“Online violence has subverted the original positive promise to the internet freedoms and into many circumstances has made it a chilling space that permits anonymous cruelty and facilitates harmful acts towards womxn and girls “

-Phumzile Mlambo-Ngcuka, UN women.

Research Report Launch

HER Internet hosted the launch of our report on a research study conducted all over Uganda to determine the experiences of lesbians, bisexual and queer (LBQ) womxn and Female sex workers (FSW) with violence in online spaces as part our contribution to build an evidence base to support collective advocacy efforts for the LGBTQ and sex work communities.

We are very happy to share with you the research report titled “The trends and impact of technology-assisted violence among Lesbian, Bisexual, Queer Womxn and Female sex workers in Uganda.” The increasingly rapid technological advances have created new possibilities for the criminal misuse of ICTs. It is therefore important to interrogate how far the harm goes, the avenues of access to justice for these violations and what LBQ womxn and FSW needs are in this regard.

Technology intersects with virtually every aspect of our daily lives. In a survey involving service providers who provide services to victims of GBV, 97% indicated that victims who seek their services were being harassed, monitored and/or threatened by perpetrators misusing technology.

Understanding the impact of abusers’ misuse of technology, the types of technology misused, and the ways in which technology can be used to assist survivors is therefore crucial to providing survivor support. While harassment, threats and intimidation are not new tactics in the world of stalking, domestic and sexual violence, abusers are increasingly using technology as a means to monitor, harass, threaten, intimidate, impersonate and stalk their victims, making it difficult for survivors to find physical safety and eroding their sense of safety.

Cyber Security Awareness

We hosted a space with womxn to dialogue under the topic “Privacy online, offline and in between” as part of our contribution towards #cybersecurityawarenessmonth call to all of us to DoYourPart #BeCyberSmart.

Whether or not we have privacy while online today is up for debate. The key is knowing where the invisible line that we so often cross is. We believe the liberation of womxn comes from having the right information.
We are raising awareness on violence that occurs while using the internet and collecting experiences from different communities as well. We aim to equip as many womxn as possible with pertinent information on how to engage safely online which will in turn ensure that womxn are aware of their freedoms on the internet

The Odyssey of Desire Live Chat

The Odyssey of Desire is a series of online conversations and explorations intended to lead us on a journey through the depth and breadth of our desires, in all their complex glory. Adventures (from the bedrooms of African women), an online platform where African women share their intimate experiences as told by us for ourselves is the one behind organising this series.

Our team leader took part in the Odyssey of Desire, a live Twitter conversation that candidly addressed things like sexting, sex tapes, and nudes and nothing was off-limits.