Cyber sexual and gender-based violence and gendered online hate speech

Access to the internet and the active use of social media platforms and messaging apps are becoming increasingly common throughout Sri Lanka. While these platforms are often used as a place to access information, connect with loved ones, and find common ground, they can just as easily be used to cause harm. To address this ever-growing issue, CEJ partnered with Search for Common Ground and Hashtag Generation to work towards improving the existing response mechanism to cases of Cyber Sexual and Gender-based Violence (CSGBV) and gendered online hate speech (GOHS) in Sri Lanka. One component of this project was a rapid assessment of the prevalence and response to cases of CSGBV and GOHS in the Anuradhapura, Batticaloa, Colombo, Kilinochchi, and Puttalam districts.

The assessment included creative sessions with community women and girls, focus group discussions with key institutions, surveys and polls conducted via a webinar with young people, and stakeholder interviews. Assessment findings were analyzed and compiled into a report published by CEJ that covers the prevalence, factors that increased vulnerability, community understanding and perceptions, and the impact of CSGBV and GOHS. The report also included a robust section on preventing and responding to CSGBV and GOHS, including existing mechanisms, challenges, and potential solutions.

Follow our social media pages in the coming months for more information on CSGBV and GOHS!