The number of cases of online gender-based violence has increased since the pandemic, according to a foundation on Tuesday.
According to the Foundation for Media Alternatives, based on their monitoring of media reports and newspapers, various types of gender-based violence seem to have reached online platforms due to lockdown and quarantine.
The non-profit organization assists in the processing of information from various information and communication technologies, including those related to gender issues.
“We know that as technology evolves, with the kind of technology that we have already, societies change and even that affects a lot on our culture, etc. This also affected cases on women, on violence on women,” said Liza Garcia, executive director of the foundation, at an online forum organized on the issue of cybercrime in the Philippines.
“It has transformed into something that is physical in the online space as well,” she added.
“When it came to 2020, during the time of the pandemic we really notice it started to increase in the cases of online gender-based violence. Of course, we can partly explain this by the fact that a lot of people were just at home, staying at home at they are using their computers.”
According to the foundation, the number of online gender-based violence recorded in 2020 increased by 165 percent, which is around 130 cases compared to only 49 in 2019.
Cases of online gender-based violence rose amid pandemic – group
About 59.32 percent of victims are 18-30 years old, where mobile phones, Facebook, and other online chats are commonly used.
The most frequently reported cases are taking pictures and videos of the victim without permission, sharing or posting private pictures or information of the victim, abusive comments related to gender, threats of violence or blackmail, and forgery of personal data.
She said it has different effects on the victims, some of whom experience depression, anxiety, and some even commit suicide.
Others have been discriminated against, lost their jobs, or could not get hired because of a gender-based scandal.
On the side of the Philippine National Police, Police Maj. Lalaine Marty of the Women and Children Cybercrime Protection Unit of the PNP- Anti-Cybercrime Group also said that the number of cases of child abuse during the pandemic has also increased.