Survey shows 12% of women in Northern Ireland have experienced online violence

The survey has been described as the UK's largest.

Twelve percent of women in Northern Ireland have experienced online violence, research has revealed.

The Open University has carried out what's been described as the United Kingdom's largest-ever survey on the issue.

It found that more than one in 10 women and girls in each of the UK regions have been been affected, describing the problem as "widespread".

Online violence can include trolling, threats, abuse, unwanted sexual remarks and non-consensual sharing of intimate photos and messages.

The most commonly perceived reasons for why people commit such online violence were the anonymity provided by being online, ease of getting away with it, and misogyny.

The online YouGov survey included 7,500 people aged 16 and over – 4,000 women and girls and 3,500 men and boys.

Professor Olga Jurasz, who led the project, said: “This new research – the first ever to be conducted into OVAWG (online violence against women and girls) at this scale across the four nations – shows just how widespread the issue of OVAWG really is.

"'[it] will provide policy makers with a foundation to help reduce instances of OVAWG and to improve outcomes for those affected.”

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