A new anonymous study has found that almost half of women said they have been sexually victimised on social media.
A study of 261 women aged 13-72 years old found that a huge 46% reported they had been sexually victimised on social media platforms.
The most frequently reported experiences included having to share sexual images of themselves, receiving unsolicited sexual images, and requests to talk about sex.
The results found that 41% had experienced threatening behaviour online, 38% had experienced humiliating contact and 15% had experienced threatening and sexual contact.
However, some of the survey’s participants admitted to being on the other side of the online abuse, 13% confessing to sexual contact online and 12% confessing to humiliating and threatening contact.
The research also found that women said they had negative feelings about themselves and the perpetrators after experiencing cyber-violence.
Megan Kenny from the University of Huddersfield said: “These results suggest that cyber-violence via social media is a problem for female social media users, across various social media platforms and has lasting offline consequences.
“If you are a victim of this kind of behaviour document everything using screenshots, making note of dates and report the individual to the platform in the first instance.
“If you believe you are at serious risk of harm, ensure you have documented as much as possible and contact the police.”
These findings were presented last week at the British Psychological Society’s 30th Psychology of Women conference in Windsor.
Find out more about the survey here.