Policy and Media Comments

GEM submission to the Bright Blue Commission on Conservatism and Human Rights.

In this submission to the Bright Blue Commission on Conservatism and Human Rights, Clare McGlynn and Erika Rackley, on behalf of The Centre for Gender Equal Media (GEM), outline the importance of placing restrictions on certain offensive material to enhance the human rights of others. They make the following recommendations:BrightBlue

  1. That the protection of women and girls from all forms of violence must be a central aim of any new Bill of Rights in line with the Home Office-led Violence Against Women and Girls strategy.
  2. That mechanisms are included to ensure the human rights of all parties are effectively protected and enriched both online and off-line.
  3. That the Commission recognise that appropriate restrictions or limits on A’s rights can be human rights enhancing insofar as they protect or enhance B’s rights or freedoms that would otherwise be negatively affected by the unrestricted operation of A’s rights.

Read the full submission here:

GEM Briefing on Online Abuse Parliamentary Debate: Law Reform and Funding Specialist Support Services

GEM has published a briefing on Online Abuse ahead of a Parliamentary Debate scheduled for Thursday 7th July.

GEM Parliamentary Briefing Online Abuse Debate 7 July 2016-page-001

You can read the briefing here







GEM Co-Founder Dr Fiona Vera-Gray comments on missed connections between Online Porn and Abuse

FVG Guardian 27 May 2016Responding to research by Demos suggesting that as many women and girls use terms ‘slut’ and ‘whore’ in tweets, Dr Fiona Vera-Gray said it was not surprising that young girls were using misogynistic language that had become normalised in society. “There is very little space where these representations of women are being challenged,” she said. “We know that young girls are being exposed to more and more pornography where these descriptions are used, and it makes sense to me that they are starting to believe that what it means to be a girl or woman is to be judged in this kind of way.”


GEM Welcomes CPS Guidance on Social Media cases and Recommends Further Changes

GEM has today submitted evidence to the consultation by the Crown Prosecution Service on its Interim Guidelines on Social Media cases.

We welcome the guidance provided to prosecutors on the broader context of violence against women which should shape prosecutorial decisions. We recommend strengthening this guidance and, in particular, ensuring that the ‘high threshold’ does not preclude prosecutions where there is evident harm to victims. While we welcome the recognition that disclosing private, sexual images without consent can result in serious harm, we recommend that the CPS do not use the terminology of ‘revenge porn’, but instead the more appropriate term image-based sexual abuse. Read our evidence submission here: GEM Centre Durham University April 2016 CPS Social Media Response FINAL

GEM submits evidence to Government Age Verification of Pornography consultation

GEM has submitted evidence to the UK Government’s consultation Child Safety Online: Age Verification for Pornography on introducing age-verification requirements onto pornography websites. While GEM broadly welcomes the Government’s initiative in this difficult area, GEM has emphasised that any regulation of pornography must be considered in the broader context of violence against women. Response to Age Verification Consultation from GEM FINAL

GEM Welcomes Government’s Revised Violence Against Women Strategy

The newly established Centre for Gender Equal Media at Durham Univesity (GEM) welcomes the commitment in the revised Violence Against Women and Girls (VAWG) 2016-2020 strategy for Government action on online and ‘cyber-enabled’ violence against women. In particular we are pleased to see the integration of online forms of violence against women, including image-based sexual abuse (‘revenge porn’) and pornography, into the strategy, as recommended by the End Violence Against Women Coalition’s report into new technologies in 2012.

We urge the Government to recognise the need for the funding of specialist organisations to both support survivors of online abuse, as well as help to challenge such behaviours. Read more on our views here: GEM VAWG Strategy Response March 2016 FINAL