More than 70% social media users abused,Report warns

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Nairobi,KENYA:Reports released by Africa alliance shows that 79 and 75 percent of men and women in Kenya and Zambia respectively are physically/sexually or emotionally abused in social media after their photos/videos are used without their consent.

The study which was conducted in Kenya (Kilifi and Mombasa County) and Zambia (Lusaka and Kitwe) shows that about 56 percent of the sampled respondents from Zambia indicated that they or someone they know have experienced online abuse while  49 percent from Kenya reported the same.

Releasing the report, Africa Alliance Operation executive officer madam Purity Kiangutha stated that, there has been an increase in social problems in cyber space, exposing people to different forms of cyber violence like taking/sharing pictures/video of someone without consent.

“In Kenya, 47 percent of the respondents affirmed that online tools like WhatsAPP/Face book/Twitter/dating sites/emails or SMSs, may be unsafe environments for women/girls while in Zambia, 54 percent of them thought that this could be the case at times,” Said Kiangutha.

The report also shows that,49 percent and 59 percent majority sampled respondents in Kenya and Zambia respectively, find insulting/making false accusations about someone as well as threatening to physical/sexually harm to be online abuse.

When asked about understanding violence against women is; out of the mentioned options majority of the  remaining sampled respondents in Kenya thought that, violence against women involves denying resources to women like money or education with Kilifi having the highest record while Zambia majority of the remaining sampled respondents that it involves physical hurt of women.

Majority of the sampled respondents in Kenya and Zambia stated that people use social media to harm others mainly because it is easy to say and do without fear of punishment, while two thirds (77 percent) of them just decides  not to report incidences of abuse that took place online.

The survey was conducted in Kenya and Zambia in 2016/2017 in the month of December and January with an aim of investigating how ICT is used to perpetuate violence against women and violation through circulation of articles.

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