New research by Amnesty International has revealed the alarming impact that abuse and harassment on social media are having on women, with women around the world reporting stress, anxiety, or panic attacks as a result of these harmful online experiences.
The organization commissioned an IPSOS MORI poll which looked at the experiences of women between the ages of 18 and 55 in Denmark, Italy, New Zealand, Poland, Spain, Sweden, the UK and USA.
Nearly a quarter (23%) of the women surveyed across these eight countries said they had experienced online abuse or harassment at least once, ranging from 16% in Italy to 33% in the US. Alarmingly, 41% of women who had experienced online abuse or harassment said that on at least one occasion, these online experiences made them feel that their physical safety was threatened.
“The internet can be a frightening and toxic place for women. It’s no secret that misogyny and abuse are thriving on social media platforms, but this poll shows just how damaging the consequences of online abuse are for the women who are targeted,” said Azmina Dhrodia, Amnesty International’s Researcher on Technology and Human Rights.