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Centre Calls for Criminalization of On-Line Violence

By Richard P. Ngbokai.

A Kano based advocacy organization, Centre for Information Technology and Development (CITAD) has called for the criminalization of gender based violence perpetrated against women on the Internet.

The programme assistant on gender and the Internet advocacy CITAD, Maryam Ado Haruna who made the call in a press briefing said cybercrime Act was not enough to curb the spate of violence against women online, emphasizing that gender based violence online should be made a punishable offence.

She lamented the manner in which some women lost their marriages as a result of mischief perpetrated against them on social media.

She advocated for synergy between the service providers and the security agencies in order to mitigate the rising cases of character assassination being perpetrated on-line.

“The issue of gender based violence online in the north is very common. From the instances we have gathered, there is direct correlation between online violence and physical abuse of women in the sense that any violence done online carries physical effect on the target. There are instances of broken relationships because of this mischief being perpetrated online, children were taken away  from schools, marriages terminated and many more,” she said.

Citing example of how this crime is being perpetrated on-line, Maryam said “there was an instance from one of our respondents whose photo was manipulated through photoshop by a male friend. She took a photo in a hijab, but the man go and cut her face and attached it to a nude body and post it on the internet and it went viral anybody that see that picture would believe it was her body.

She identified Facebook, Twitter, Instagram as major platforms gender based violence is being committed frequently against women.

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