Although the digital space can be useful for creating safe spaces for marginalized groups, online privacy violations are rampant, and can sometimes lead to physical threats. Cyber harassment is increasing worldwide including stalking, bullying, sexual harassment, defamation, hate speech, and exploitation, and mainly against youths, women, and people with disabilities. Throughout the pandemic and the multi-layered socioeconomic crisis that Lebanon is going through, evidence showed an increase in GBV incidence. The percentage of cybercrimes committed against girls, aged 12 to 26, was 41% of the reported cases between 2018 and 2020, while those 26 and above reached 27%. According to the Lebanese Internal Security Forces, during the national lockdown period alone, the percentage of generally reported cases of cybercrimes amplified by 184%. (Source: ISF and UNFPA)
As part of the fight against bullying and with the aim of improving understanding of digital language, skills, information, and the challenges associated with digital and cyber-bullying, Red Oak is launching a program to support young people in their use of new technologies and undertakes to guide them and share with them information and good practices on how to manage the safe use of the Internet and digital channels, and to take the necessary measures to create an environment allowing them to protect themselves online while continuing to take advantage of the wealth available.