women, non-binary individuals and minorities with the tools and resources to
reclaim online spaces.
Stage 4: Transition to Scale
cyber harassment helpline was established in December 2016 and its services
are provided free of cost, and the project was funded by the Tulip Human
Rights Award. Since its launch the Helpline has been providing assistance to
victims of online harassment—over 2000 calls were received. Currently the
Helpline is looking to expand and sustain its services to adopt to the
changing legal landscape in digital rights and new emergent technologies.
Peace and Resilience, Gender-based Violence and Technology
Peace and Resilience, Gender-based Violence and TechnologySEE LESS
solution is seeking to address the problem of online violence against women
that results in violation of women rights to participation in online spaces,
digital safety, mental and physical safety and well as implications for
women’s right to freedom of expression. Women are often discouraged from
participating in online discourse due to abuse and in some cases online
harassment can result in offline, physical violence as well.
solution seeks to provide legal advice, digital security assistance and
psychological counselling for victims of online harassment and violence. The
cyber harassment helpline has a team that consists of lawyers, digital
security experts and a counsellor in order to implement the solution vision
outlined above. The Helpline also has an ever-expanding referral system that
supplements the expertise of the Helpline with more specific services,
grounding the helpline and its approach in larger networks that are local,
regional and international. These collaborations have enriched the work that
DRF provides and also adds to the work of other organisations. We hope to
situate the helpline at a global scale even further so similar models can be
replicated and scaled in other countries and contexts.
cyber harassment helpline is the only dedicated cyber harassment helpline in
the region in which it operates. Most approaches to online harassment are
either grounded in the larger rubric of cyber crime (that isn’t seen as
gender specific) or within the ambit of cyber bullying (that is positioned
primarily at children and teenagers). The Helpline takes a unique approach
the problem in that it seeks to tackle issue a problem of violence against
women and gender-specific. Furthermore, the helpline takes a holistic
approach to the issue—not confining it to merely an issue of the law,
technology or mental health. There are several human rights organisations
working on mapping and tracking the issue of online harassment, but very few
of them are combining research and data collection with direct service
delivery—combining government-oriented approaches with civil society
Planned Goals and Milestones
plans include expanding our legal network to become country-wide so that on
the ground assistance can be provided to victims effectively. The Helpline
also wishes to be part of global networks working on support to women and
children in the realm of digital assistance.
We seek to expand our reach areas peri-urban and rural parts of
Pakistan through targeted awareness and promotional campaigns, as currently
most of our calls are restricted to urban centers.