Violence against women is considered one of the most widespread human rights violations in the world, and it results in physical, sexual or mental harm or suffering to women, and its means and tools vary with the passage of time and the growing information and technological revolution that the world is witnessing. Among the most dangerous types of violence that women have recently faced with the increase in the scope of the Internet is “digital violence” or what is called “electronic violence”, which falls victim to women who use social networking sites in particular, where virtual life intersects with reality, restrictions are broken and privacy vanishes, which may represent A threat to societal stability in general.
In view of the growth of this form of violence and its dangerous repercussions on societies, the
Strategic Forum for Public Policies and Development Studies “Deraya” issues this report, which deals in detail with the definition of the concept of “digital violence”, its types, repercussions and
indicators at the Arab and local levels, as well as the efforts of the Egyptian state to confront this
phenomenon. and presenting some proposals that may contribute to reducing it.
The report addresses this issue through the following axes:
First: the concept of digital violence

Second: Characteristics and types of digital violence
Third: The repercussions of digital violence on women

First: the concept of digital violence against women
The United Nations defines violence against women in general as “any act of gender-based violence that results in, or is likely to result in, physical, sexual or mental harm or suffering to women and girls, including threats of such acts, coercion, or arbitrary deprivation.” of freedom, whether in the public or private sphere. Violence against women and girls includes, but is not limited to, physical, sexual, and psychological violence that occurs in the family or within the general community, and that is committed or condoned by the state.”
Based on the fact that digital violence against women is an extension and perpetuation of violence against women in the real world, digital violence can be defined as “the deliberate behavior of an individual or group of individuals through one of the technologies of electronic social networking sites and its various tools with the aim of material or moral harm to others.” “.
It can also be defined as any act of violence against women that is committed using mobile phones, the Internet, text messages, e-mail, or social media.


Second: Characteristics and types of digital violence
Successive technological developments have imposed a number of features of digital or electronic violence that have made it more impactful on women victims than other forms of violence, which can be summarized in the following characteristics:
1- More severe in its repercussions than the methods of traditional violence: the perpetrators of this type of crime have the ability to hide their real names and identities, and the extent of the impact of his crimes on the victim is not known, which may sometimes lead to suicide for fear of stigma, discrimination or defamation that the female may be subjected to. or her family.
2- Global and transnational: This type of violence against women is not prevented by the boundaries of space or time. Technological progress is also used to diversify the form and content of violent, aggressive and illegal practices at any time, transcending geographical and temporal boundaries without any restrictions.
3- Evolving and continuing: Electronic violence is constantly evolving with the development of
modern technological methods that help the impact of this violence to remain for a long time, and it is continuous behavior in most of its cases, as in cases of insult, slander and defamation, unless the perpetrator is caught and technical intervention is made to end these crimes.
4- The ease of its occurrence and the speed of its spread: This is due to the rapid spread of malicious and false information and rumors, the ease of access to them, and they are often irretrievable. Once they are published on the Internet, the offender cannot stop them.
5- Absence of physical interaction: There is no physical interaction between the communicating
parties (the perpetrator – the victim), and it does not require great energy in confronting the victims like traditional violence, and it also depends on mental and mental skill and competence, not the physical one.
6- Easy access to the victim and the difficulty of her self-defense: Social media enabled the
perpetrators to reach the victim at any time and in any place, and at the same time made it very
difficult for the victim to defend herself or avoid this type of violence.
The United Nations Women’s Organization has identified the types of digital violence directed
against women in 6 forms as follows:
1- Hacking: Where technology is used to illegally or unauthorized access to women’s systems or
accounts for the purpose of obtaining personal information, changing or modifying their information, or defaming and discrediting the target victim.
2- Impersonation: Where technology is used to carry the identity of the victim or another person in order to access private information, embarrass or disgrace the victim, communicate with her, or create false identity documents.
3- Tracking: where technology is used to stalk and monitor the victim’s activities and behaviors,
either at the time of their occurrence or which occurred at an earlier time.
4- Harassment: where technology is used for continuous communication, harassment, threat or
intimidation of the victim, provided that this behavior is repeated and continuous and not a single incident, through continuous calls, text messages, voice mail or e-mail.
5- Recruitment: where technology is used to attract potential victims in cases of violence, for
example fraudulent jobs and advertisements, whether on social media or job opportunity sites.
6- Distribution of disturbing material: the use of technology to process and distribute defamatory and illegal material relating to the victim.


Third: The repercussions of digital violence on women
The repercussions of digital violence on women usually lead to results that outweigh the negative effects of traditional types of violence. and come in the forefront of them:
1- Psychological repercussions: Women who have been exposed to one or more forms of electronic violence usually suffer from depression, isolation, stigma and shame, and sometimes they may resort to suicide.
2- Social repercussions: Victims’ families usually prefer not to disclose the cybercrime their girls are exposed to, for fear of what society and those around them will look at, and the growing doubts about the behavior of these girls. It deepens the feelings of anger within these societies, especially the conservative Arab societies.
3- Economic repercussions: Digital violence and defamation of the victim may lead to her losing her job and reducing her opportunity to join another job. The matter becomes even darker if the victim is a woman who supports the family. Her exposure to this type of crime and her inability to defend herself makes the family’s economic situation extremely difficult and affects directly to the children.
Fourth: Indicators of the spread of the phenomenon of digital violence against women in the Arab world and locally.
The United Nations Population Fund indicated in its latest census that the global prevalence rate of digital violence against women and girls is 85%, and this includes women who have personally
experienced or witnessed it against other women.
Ahmet Alakra
Social Worker