How to defend yourself against online abuse

Achieving an internet that is free from gender-based violence will require dismantling the systems of oppression and discrimination that support technology-facilitated gender-based violence (TFGBV). The onus should not be upon individuals to protect ourselves. However, until those with institutional power step up, here are our suggestions. 

As soon as you experience online abuse:

Document it

  • 5 Ws (who, what, when, where, why and how, if applicable)
  • number of instances
  • number of people involved
  • screenshots
  • level of severity (see Scale of Severity)

The BC Society of Transition Houses has created this downloadable log sheet to help you keep track of everything you should about the TFGBV you experience.

Report it

  • report it to the digital platform where it occurred (see Social Media Guides)
  • ask others (family, friends, co-workers) to report it to the digital platform, too
  • report it to your employer, if relevant
  • announce publicly that you have reported it

Block the culprit(s)

Stop the abuser from following you and seeing your content (see Social Media Guides)

If you don’t consider yourself to be tech savvy or need help with any of these recommendations, ask someone you trust for assistance.

To learn more about online abuse and technology-facilitated gender-based violence, visit our Toxic Hush Action Kit here