Free eSafety event: empowering women to take control online

An internet safety workshop being offered to women in Maroondah is empowering them to take back control of their online experiences.

Women are more likely to be the target of online abuse which can damage their confidence, self-esteem and feelings of personal safety.

Women aged 18 and over are encouraged to attend a free community event featuring a speaker from the Office of the eSafety Commissioner on Wednesday 11 March at Realm Library in Ringwood.

The Keeping Safe Online – for women 18+ session provides the opportunity for participants to increase their knowledge on the safe use of technology. Women will also learn about the different types of abuse and the pathways available to get help and support.

Deputy Mayor Cr Marijke Graham said research by Amnesty International revealed the alarming impact that abuse and harassment on social media was having on women in Australia, with women reporting stress and anxiety as a result of their harmful online experiences.

“International research has pointed to the stark finding that women and girls are subjected to high levels of online abuse simply because they are women,” Cr Graham said.

A 2018 survey of 502 Australian women aged 18 to 55 also revealed seven out of 10 girls aged 15 to 19 believed online harassment and bullying was widespread.

“For these women, receiving unwanted and uninvited sexually explicit content online is sadly now considered common behaviour,” Cr Graham said.

According to Amnesty International’s Researcher on Technology and Human Rights Azmina Dhrodia, the particular danger of online abuse is how fast it can proliferate – one abusive tweet can become a barrage of targeted hate in a matter of minutes.

She said social media platforms, especially for women and marginalised groups, are a critical space for individuals to exercise the right to freedom of expression. Online violence and abuse are a direct threat to this freedom of expression.

The session will cover topics including:

  • dealing with online harassment
  • how tech-savvy are you?
  • image-based abuse
  • social media – private and professional
  • online shopping/dating
  • resources and where to get support
  • parenting in the social media age (touches on cyberbullying, grooming, apps, online pornography) and how to report abuse.

This event is a partnership between Council, Eastern Regional Libraries Corporation, Women’s Health East, Eastern Domestic Violence Service, Eastern Centre Against Sexual Assault and the Office of the eSafety Commissioner as part of their eSafety Women program.

The eSafety Women program also provides face-to-face workshops and online training for domestic and family violence frontline workers, giving them the skills and confidence to better assist women experiencing technology-facilitated abuse.

Keeping Safe Online – for women 18+

When: Wednesday 11 March 2020

Time: 6pm to 7.30pm (light refreshments served from 5.30pm)

Where: Realm, Level 2 (Library), 171-175 Maroondah Highway, Ringwood

This free event.

Book online

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