Girls just wanna have fun-damental rights: With one in ten women estimated to have already experienced a form of cyber violence in their lifetime, and the recent leaking of thousands of indecent images of non-consenting women and girls in Ireland, how can the EU ensure that its citizens are safe from cyber sexual harassment given the trend of digitalisation in recent months?

Submitted by: Dido Arts, Yasmin Bouhdada, Benthe Hauzendorfer, Marnix Jacobovits de Szeged, Vihaan Shah, Hannah Rakers (Chairperson, NL).

The European Youth Parliament,

  1. Noting with regret that many victims of cyber violence against women and girls (VAWG)  do not consider themselves victims or can be too intimidated to report their abuser,
  2. Concerned that victims of cyber violence are unaware of the legal action they can take against their perpetrators,
  3. Remembering that online anonymity can make it difficult to prosecute abusers,
  4. Observing that the research on cyber violence incidents, victims affected and distribution across the EU is slow, incomplete, and unrepresentative for the current year, 
  5. Fully alarmed by the public’s stigma against the victims of “revenge porn” and focus on blame-shifting,
  6. Deeply concerned that cyber VAWG affects girls’ and women’s social and economic wellbeing as they decide not to take full advantage of online opportunities or express their opinion,
  7. Noting the lack of cohesive and uniform legislative approach at European level regarding measures on cyber VAWG,
  8. Alarmed that the distribution of private images without consent is criminalized only in five European countries,
  9. Bearing in mind that victims of cyber violence must rely on general privacy legislation such as GDPR which does not make any reference to the non-consensual distribution of private images,
  10. Taking into account the different legal systems and socio-cultural traditions of Member States,
  11. Noting that internet usage increased with 50% in pandemic times, also increasing the risk of cyber VAWG;
  1. Calls upon the Directorate General for Communications Networks, Content and Technology (DG Connect) to collaborate with the Directorate General on Immigration and Home Affairs (DG Home) to spread awareness about cyber VAWG by:
    • promoting victim helplines through informative advertisements,
    • making and spreading infographics regarding the consequences of cyber VAWG; 
  2. Further invites the DG Connect and DG Home to spread awareness on the potential legal consequences of cyber VAWG by:
    • informing victims about their legal options and rights,
    • informing potential perpetrators about the legal consequences of spreading non-consensual pornography;
  3. Encourages websites distributing pornographic images or videos to share relevant information regarding those who share non-consensual pornography with law enforcement;
  4. Urges the Cyberbullying Research Centre to publish monthly reports on the occurrence and effects of cyber VAWG;
  5. Invites the European Journalism Centre to provide journalists with trainings on:
    • moving  the narrative from the victim to the perpetrators,
    • ending victim blaming in the coverage of cyber VAWG;
  6. Requests the DG Home to prioritize cyber VAWG on the EU agenda;
  7. Encourages Member States to follow the example of Malta, Germany, France, and Ireland in criminalising  the non-consensual distribution of explicit images; 
  8. Calls upon the European Commission to expand the GDPR to specifically include the distribution of sexually explicit content of non-consenting women and girls.