Refuge launches campaign video on so-called ‘revenge porn’ and online domestic abuse with TV personality Georgia Harrison

 

Today, Tuesday 19 April 2022, as the Online Safety Bill appears before Parliament for its second reading, domestic abuse charity Refuge launches campaign video with TV personality and campaigner Georgia Harrison.

In the video, Georgia outlines the scale of intimate image abuse. She also talks about the change she wants to see with social media companies bearing more of a responsibility to react quicker to reports of intimate image abuse and violence against women and girls.

Ahead of the Bill’s second reading, Refuge is calling on the Government to make violence against women and girls a priority in the Online Safety Bill, and to include better protections for women. As it stands, the Bill does little to protect women against online abuse. The Bill makes no mention of women and girls, misogyny or misogynistic content. This does not match up to the scale of the problem faced by women and girls online.

If the Bill does not recognise the specific ways women and girls experience violence and abuse online, social media companies could continue to fail to take the problem seriously.

Refuge calls on the Government to:

  • Explicitly recognise online violence against women and girls on the face of the Bill, to ensure social media companies give due priority to all forms of violence against women and girls when carrying out their duties under the Bill
  • Require Ofcom to develop a violence against women and girls code of practice as a matter of priority to set out clear expectations for companies when responding to and preventing online violence against women and girls, alongside codes on terrorism, fraudulent advertising and child sexual exploitation and abuse. This would improve the response to survivors and raise standards among regulated platforms.

Commenting, Georgia Harrison, TV personality and campaigner, said:

“Every day different women get in touch with me sharing their experience of online abuse.

“Having your intimate images shared without your consent is one of the most terrifying and violating things that can happen to you.

“Social media companies need to understand how scary it is, and they need to act faster to take images down.”

Ellie Butt, Refuge’s Head of Policy and Public Affairs, said:

“If the Government is serious about tackling violence against women and girls, it needs to put its words into action.

“This Bill was a huge opportunity to take online abuse seriously, but the Government has failed to even mention women or misogyny once throughout the Bill.

“Refuge urges the Government to reconsider and ensure that this Bill makes a real difference to survivors of online abuse.”

Ends  

Notes to Editors 

  • You can watch the full video here: https://youtu.be/rvFTmu0Zdzg
  • Georgia Harrison is a British born model and influencer, most notably known for appearing in reality TV shows: Series 3 of Love Island and The Only Way is Essex. She is a campaigner on intimate image abuse.
  • Our research has shown that more than one in three UK women (equivalent to 11 million women) have experienced online abuse or harassment on social media or another online platform, rising to a staggering 62% of young women. Of these 1 in 3 women, 1 in 6 experienced this abuse from a partner or ex-partner, meaning almost 2 million women have been abused in this way. Read the Unsocial Spaces report: https://www.refuge.org.uk/wp-content/uploads/2021/10/Unsocial-Spaces-for-web.pdf
  • 1 in 14 adults in England and Wales have been threatened with sharing an intimate image. 1 in 7 young women aged between 18 and 34 have experienced threats to share intimate images. The overwhelming majority (72%) of threats to share intimate images are made against women by current or ex partners. This clearly defines it as a domestic abuse issue and is why the Government must act now. Read the Naked Threat report : https://www.refuge.org.uk/wp-content/uploads/2020/07/The-Naked-Threat-Report.pdf

Interviews available on request.  Please contact the Press Office on 0207 395 7731 or email press@refuge.org.uk

Georgia has created three videos with Refuge.

About Refuge:

Refuge supports thousands of women and children on any given day, and runs the National Domestic Abuse Helpline, which is the gateway to accessing specialist support across the country. More than one in four women in England and Wales experiences domestic abuse at some point in their lifetime, and two women a week are killed by a current or former partner.

Please signpost to Refuge’s National Domestic Abuse Helpline 0808 2000 247, available 24 hours a day 7 days a week for free, confidential specialist support. Or visit www.nationaldahelpline.org.uk to fill in a webform and request a safe time to be contacted or to access live chat (live chat available 3pm-10pm, Monday to Friday). For real time automated guidance on how to secure your personal devices Refuge also has a Tech Safety Tool.

Visit Refuge’s Tech Safety Website at www.RefugeTechSafety.org for information on tech abuse and to find guidance on how to secure your personal and home devices. For real time automated support Refuge also has a Tech Safety Tool.