30% of girls and women who have experienced digital violence stop using the Internet

“They don’t need to touch your body to rape you,” said Olympia Coral Melo at the How to Build a Safe Digital World forum held at the Autonomous Metropolitan University (UAM).

Seven years ago, activist Olympia Corral was in the public eye after a sexually explicit video was circulated without her consent. He says that he has turned to the authorities in search of help to stop this video from circulating on the web; but the only answer she received was that what she had suffered was not considered a crime.

He suffered cyberbullying from strangers and revictimizing comments from people close to him. Even some members of her family claimed that she caused this situation. All of these actions together caused Olympia to become depressed and suicidal.

Her mother was the first to help her turn her sadness into motivation to fight. Thanks to the activism of Olympia and that of many other survivors of the same crime, today the distribution of sexual content without the consent of the person involved is considered digital violence and can be punished in 30 states of the Republic through a set of reforms for laws known as “law of Olympia”.

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However, the fact that Olympia’s digital identity was limited to this video made her stay away from the digital world for a while. Just like her, 30% of girls and women who have experienced digital violence stop using the Internet, according to information from the telecommunications company AT&T.

In order for all users of digital media to learn to recognize digital violence and be able to help fight it, the Federal Agency for Consumer Protection (Profeco), AT&T Mexico and the civil association Yo also organized the forum “How to build a safe digital world .

In Mexico, 13.2 million young people between the ages of 18 and 24 are Internet users, according to Inegi data, and they themselves are the most vulnerable to digital violence. For this reason, the forum was held at the rectorate of the Autonomous Metropolitan University (UAM), where Olympia Koral spoke about the responsible use of digital platforms to students.

Sexting without digital violence

The literal translation of sexting it is sex via texting and consists of the consensual exchange of erotic or sexual content on digital platforms.

During the forum, Olympia Coral assured that we all have the right to express our sexuality through sexting and gave some recommendations so that it does not turn into digital violence.

The main one was consent before, during and after sexting. The activist advises women to rethink whether the consent they give is based on their own pleasure or simply to please their partners: “We need to talk about consent if you are conditioned or pressured to do sexting it is no longer the case sextingthis is harassment, “Olimpia assures.

Consent is also required to view sexual content more than once, store it on electronic devices or share it with third parties. In the absence of such consent, sexting becomes a crime of digital violence.

To do sexting For a safer way, the expert suggests choosing digital messaging platforms that delete content from time to time or use features that allow content to be viewed only once.

As recommendations for the public sector, Olimpia suggests implementing digital education in curricula from an early age; to make digital law accessible to all people and to standardize the protocols for action in government agencies that receive cases of digital violence.

Daniel Rios, Deputy Vice President of External Relations and Sustainability at AT&T Mexico, assured that “we can only prevent digital violence if we educate ourselves to use technology responsibly and apply the legal framework correctly. We are proud to be the first to join this alliance against digital violence hand in hand with Profeco and Inmujeres for a connected Mexico with a gender perspective”.

Both representatives of AT&T Mexico and Olimpia Coral assured that Mexico is a precedent in digital violence for Latin America; however, they acknowledge that there is still much work to be done to ensure a safe digital environment for all Mexicans.

“When it happens to me, I would like to see an informative image in a company or public institution. They help us a lot by doing such preventive campaigns. If someone asks, ‘does Olympia’s law work?’ This is a great example to see that it at least served to lay the first stone,” stressed Olympia Corral.

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