We are living in a digital age where cyberviolence* transcends spaces from schools, hallways, campus grounds, workplaces to the home.
Through Project Shift, a 30-month project funded by Status of Women Canada, YWCA Canada and partners are working to create a safer digital world for girls and young women.
With the support of Gentium Consulting, YWCA Canada conducted a needs assessment applying a gender based analysis to the issue of cyberviolence. Girls, young women, subject matter experts from thejustice, law enforcement, and information and communication technology (ICT) sectors, along with educators, parents, program workers from across the country participated in consultations to identity gaps, challenges and promising practices and strategies to end cyberviolence. Click here for the Needs Assessment Report Summary .
To foster ongoing dialogue and education, YWCA Canada and partners are hosting knowledge sharing events across the country to share the findings of the needs assessment and mobilize support for recommendations.
In collaboration with young women, project partners and advisors, YWCA Canada has identified strategies that respond to the Needs Assessment Recommendations that address educational institutions, the ICT sector, parents, teachers and other adults. Strategies which will be piloted and evaluated will focus on creating systemic change.This includes encouraging the ICT sector to incorporate a gender lens and understanding of sex discrimination and harassment in their work and creating a shift in the way adults are respond to girls and young women when they report an incident of cyberviolence.
Project Shift defines cyberviolence as online behaviour that assaults, or leads to criminal or non-criminal assault of a person’s physical, psychological or emotional well-being.It can be perpetrated, or experienced by an individual or group, and happen via a wide range of communication technologies, including online, via smartphones, internet games, etc.
Although most cyberviolence takes place online, we recognize that it affects people offline and has real world implications. Some examples of cyberviolence include, but are not limited to: online harassment, threatening, bullying, blackmailing, unwanted sexting, stalking, hate speech, luring, and non-consensual distribution of images.
YWCA Canada would like to acknowledge the contribution of the Young Women’s Advisory Council, comprised of young women from across the country, for their time and input across project activities. The collaboration of these young women, as well the participation of the partners and advisors listed below, is helping Project Shift to build the momentum needed for systemic change.