Youth Contest on Virtual Violence
Adolescent girls and young women are victims of virtual violence that manifests itself through numerous cases of cyberthreats, bullying, the use of demeaning phrases and stereotyped and violent images in electronic media such as emails, social networks, blogs, text messages and mobile phones. This violence constitutes a violation of women’s right to live free of violence.
In preparation for the 16 Days of Activism against Gender Violence, the Inter-American Commission of Women (CIM) invites you to participate in the “Delete virtual violence” contest and develop your own audiovisual or graphic campaign with concrete proposals to eradicate this violence.
The CIM will select 3 proposals that will be posted on CIM’s Website and social media. The deadline for submitting your proposal is February 8th, 2015.
The selection criteria will be:
1st, 2nd and 3rd prizes: presentation of the graphic/audiovisual campaign to the 2015 CIM Assembly of Delegates. Airfare and hotel expenses will be covered by the CIM.
This contest is open to students between the ages of 18 and 25.
You are allowed to use graphic design software, cameras, tape recorders, and cell phones, among other tools.
New technologies are changing the way in which young people live their relationships and participate in the open world of the social network. While this has positive aspects, it can also raise problems. The technologies currently in use allow someone to know at all times where their partner is, what he/she is doing, who he/she is talking to, what he/she is telling other people … This can lead to disappointment and deception, extreme jealousy, attempts to control and dominate, public humiliation, and even harassment. These manifestations seen in various social networks are sometimes the prelude to a violent relationship or the first signs of establishing a domineering relationship. In many cases they are the result of psychological violence exercised by a partner on a daily basis, and can also be transmitted virtually, with the same implications.
Virtual violence, expressed in insults, defamation, images or videos in cyberspace that denigrate the image of women is a new form of abuse experienced by young people. Legal mechanisms to denounce this violence however, are few. Virtual violence causes moral harm, including threats, and can influence personality and generate low self-esteem, including anger, paranoia, depression and fear. Another type of violence is sending emails with sexually explicit videos, insinuations, messages or files containing pornographic content, instead of using this tool to foster communication.
Invasion of privacy also exists in cyberspace and is considered an act of violence. This occurs when a person enters a social network, blog or a virtual environment without the owner’s consent and uses personal data like videos, pictures or stories. Many times this information is modified, stolen or published.
Society should be responsible for the correct use of technology, and denounce those who use it to harass, violate rights and assault women. Therefore, we invite you to participate in this contest and create your own campaign for Deleting Virtual Violence. Your task will be to design a poster, collage, computer graphics and photography or a 2-5 minute video with a testimonial, documentary or an animation related to any of the topics of the support document.
Images should be in digital format, in color or black and white, between 800 KB to 5MB and in JPG or TIFF format. They should be saved as RGB color mode (even if they are in black and white).
Send your campaign via email to email@example.com. The campaign should include a Word document with the name of the author, date of birth, name of the school/university, home phone, email, and title of the campaign: Deleting Virtual Violence
Support document for creating your campaign
For the first time, the Inter-American Convention on the Prevention, Punishment and Eradication of Violence, known as the Belém do Pará Convention, establishes women’s right to live free of violence. This Inter-American treaty adopted in 1994 by 32 of the 34 OAS Member States served as the basis for the design and adoption of laws and policies on prevention, eradication and punishment of violence against women in the States Party to the Convention, as well as the development of national plans, campaigns and the implementation of protocols and care services, among other initiatives. The Convention has made a significant contribution to strengthening the Inter-American Human Rights System.
Through the Belém do Pará Convention, the States Party agreed that
violence against women:
“…constitutes a violation of their human rights and fundamental
freedoms, and impairs or nullifies the observance, enjoyment and
exercise of such rights and freedoms”
How is violence against women defined?
In Article 1, the Convention defines violence against women as “…any
act or conduct, based on gender, which causes death or physical, sexual
or psychological harm or suffering to women, whether in the public or the
Article 2 recognizes three types of violence:
1. Physical violence
2. Sexual violence
3. Psychological violence
The Convention also highlights three spheres where this violence
1. In private life
Violence that occurs within the family or domestic unit or within
any other interpersonal relationship, even when the perpetrator
no longer lives with the victim.
2. In public life
Violence that is perpetrated by any person and occurs in
the community, in the workplace, in educational institutions,
health facilities or any other place; and
3. Violence that is perpetrated or condoned by the state or its
agents regardless of where it occurs
Through the Belém do Pará Convention, States recognized that violence against women:
“…pervades every sector of society regardless of class, race or ethnic
group, income, culture, level of education, age or religion and strikes at
its very foundations”
Gender-based violence is a manifestation of inequality between men and women. It is based on the superiority of one sex over the other, of men over women.
We are all educated differently from childhood, which makes us behave differently. This is called the “process of socialization,” in which we adopt different behaviors that meet the expectations placed on us as men or women. This process takes from birth and, when unchallenged, lasts throughout our lives. It extends to different spheres including family, school and work.
Relationships can be diverse and complex. However, all relationships have common practices, behaviors and gender roles, acquired in childhood, which are learned and reinforced on a daily basis. Many of these practices generate violence. Since we have learned and assimilated these from childhood we tend not to consider them as forms of violence.
What do we mean by physical, psychological and sexual violence?
Physical violence: any action that may cause bodily injury, illness or risk of illness.
Psychological violence: any act that causes or is likely to cause psychological harm. Any act that may undermine someone’s self-confidence and cause suffering such as degrading comments, insults, humiliation, partner control, blaming your partner for everything that happens.
Sexual violence: forcing your partner to have sex against her will by abuse of power, authority or through deceit.
Violence can be measured
The “violencemetre”, a tool that allows for identifying partner violence, shows that physical and psychological violence can be disguised in a playful form. It also indicates that jealousy, threats, constant phone calls, and prohibitions from partners regarding dressing, which are mistakenly perceived as normal situations, ways of affection, attention and love, are indicators of violence (see chart).