Addressing Online Violence Against Women and Girls in the Commonwealth Europe Region: The Role of Bystanders


Commonwealth Secretariat


This report contributes to the Commonwealth study on online violence against women and girls (OVAWG) and considers the prevalence of online violence and the role of bystanders as well as therelevant laws, institutions, policies and practices to address the problem in the European region of the Commonwealth, namely Cyprus, Malta and the United Kingdom of Great Britain (England, Scotland and Wales) and Northern Ireland (UK).

The report highlights the complex nature of OVAWG and the difficulties associated with differences in terminology resulting in inconsistent data collection and varied legal responses across the European region of the Commonwealth. It also details the role of bystanders and their criminal or civil liability that, it argues, are relatively new considerations in the OVAWG space. An understanding of the nature and presentation ofOVAWG is required by bystanders, including the impact on victims to drive action.



31 March 2023