Aware to pilot projects to help victims of image-based sexual abuse, Latest Singapore News - The New Paper

Aware to pilot projects to help victims of image-based sexual abuse

This article is more than 12 months old

Gender equality advocacy group Aware will fund and pilot two projects to help victims of image-based sexual abuse.

One will develop an online platform with resources for victims, while the second aims to evaluate existing measures and practices and make recommendations to best help victims.

Both projects were selected from 23 entries in the Taking Ctrl, Finding Alt contest, organised by the Association of Women for Action and Research (Aware) on Nov 25 last year after it observed a rise in cases of sexual violence perpetuated through digital technology.

Reported cases grew from 46 in 2016 to 124 in 2018. These include cases of image-based sexual abuse, where private sexual images are created, obtained or shared without consent.

The first project aims to address the lack of local information for victims of such abuse.

It is helmed by Ms Catherine Chang and Ms Holly Lynn Apsley, 24-year-old researchers at the Lee Kuan Yew Centre for Innovative Cities. They are working with National University of Singapore students to set up a website for victims, with information on how to take action against the perpetrators.

"Since the Internet is the first place many of us turn to when we need help, we felt that there was an urgent need for such a place online, where we could turn our latest research into a usable public resource," said the pair in a statement.

The second project will evaluate the recourse available to victims and make suggestions to improve the system and practices.

Led by Ms Lee Yi Ting, a 30-year-old freelance researcher, writer and security trainer, the research project will entail a series of structured interviews with victims to understand their experiences and the impact of their chosen recourse.

The projects will receive funding of $3,840 and $4,800 respectively, and their leaders will be mentored for a pilot phase of six months this year.

Aware executive director Corinna Lim said yesterday: "The digital platforms on which these forms of sexual violence occur often determine how they are addressed, but we need holistic, community-based solutions instead, which these young problem-solvers have identified. It's fantastic to see energetic young problem-solvers identifying these survivor-centric gaps in the landscape."