APrIGF 2022 Session Proposal Submission Form
Part 1 - Lead Organizer
Contact Person
Ms. Radhika Jhalani
Organization / Affiliation (Please state "Individual" if appropriate) *
Legal Counsel
Economy of Residence
Primary Stakeholder Group
Civil Society
List Your Organizing Partners (if any)
Digital Defenders Partnership (Hivos): Afra Suci Ramadhon- Regional Project Manager Asia (
Part 2 - Session Proposal
Session Title
Online harassment as tools of exclusion: A discussion on Addressing Online Gender Based Violence Through Community Organised Helplines
Session Format
Panel Discussion
Where do you plan to organize your session?
Onsite at the venue (with online moderator for questions and comments from remote participants)
Specific Issues for Discussion
This session brings together Individuals and organisations who provide support to survivors of online gender-based violence through different approaches including immediate support, and legal and digital assistance. This session looks at how community-based GBV helplines and support as a means to enable women and minorities greater freedom of expression in a context of misogyny and heightened impunity, particularly since the pandemic Covid-19 started. As help-seeking survivors rose during the pandemic, this session aims to unpack specific needs in providing support for women and challenges that organisations had in providing feminist informed support. Participants will also get an opportunity to interact with panellists and other participants and draw from their experiences. The panel will also look at the legal framework, prevention measures adopted by online platforms and governments, and their existing gap. Finally, spaces of resilience and resistance as a response to this online gender-based violence and harassment will be explored as a larger discussion on solutions where participants will also put forth solutions that can be adopted
Describe the Relevance of Your Session to APrIGF
The COVID-19 Pandemic has presented the internet world with new problems. Every day, women confront a variety of dangers, including online harassment, trolling, doxing, and other forms of abuse, all of which drastically reduce their online involvement. They are increasingly vulnerable to violence and identity theft. The latest report issued by UN Women and UNFPA (2021) indicates that online misogyny rose, including trolling, sexual harassment and victim-blaming since the pandemic Covid-19 started. Zooming into more specific data on women human rights defenders (WHRDs) as reported by Forum Asia (2022), WHRDs were affected in 50 out of 115 cases of vilification recorded, being a common target of sexist insults, derogatory remarks, and misogynist language. This heavily impacts women’s freedom of expression and inculcates a culture of self censorship. The worst of the bunch are disenfranchised women who are unaware of how to combat these risks, causing them to leave the workforce or drop out of school. However, online support for survivors also increased in many forms such as online community-organised helplines. These initiatives are often not very visible, precarious, and do not usually have the resources they need to carry out their work in optimal conditions.
This session focuses on exploring ways to make the internet a safer place for women by safeguarding women's areas. It follows this year’s APrIGF theme of inclusive and trusted internet, interrogating what inclusive freedom of expression participation means for women and other marginalised groups and how collective endeavors provide trusted support to recover online participation and digital safety of survivors. The event will go into addressing solutions to create an internet that is safe, secure, and open to all through case studies and expert voices. women need to be able to truth the internet to be included in it. Representatives from local and regional OGBV and digital attack will be there.
Methodology / Agenda (Please add rows by clicking "+" on the right)
Time frame (e.g. 5 minutes, 20 minutes, should add up to 60 minutes) Description
5 minutes Opening and introduction to panelists
10 mins: Introduction to the issue + The Landscape view of the situation
20 mins Representatives from community-based helplines and support network discuss on the various methods that gender-based online harrasment take place, the impact of such harassment as well as the strategy to respond the harassment and empower the survivors.
10 mins What are the different resources which can be used to fight against different forms of harrasement
10 mins: Wrapping up and discussing a way forward with the help of the audience
Moderators & Speakers Info (Please complete where possible)
  • Moderator (Primary)

    • Name: Afra Suci Ramadhon
    • Organization: Digital Defenders Partnership (Hivos)
    • Designation: Regional Project Manager
    • Gender: Female
    • Economy / Country of Residence: Indonesia
    • Stakeholder Group: Civil Society
    • Expected Presence: In-person
    • Status of Confirmation: Proposed
  • Moderator (Facilitator)

    • Name: Mythili Srinivasamurthy
    • Organization:
    • Designation: Legal counsel
    • Gender: Female
    • Economy / Country of Residence: India
    • Stakeholder Group: Civil Society
    • Expected Presence: In-person
    • Status of Confirmation: Proposed
  • Speaker 1

    • Name: Radhika Jhalani
    • Organization:
    • Designation: Legal Counsel
    • Gender: Female
    • Economy / Country of Residence: India
    • Stakeholder Group: Civil Society
    • Expected Presence: In-person
    • Status of Confirmation: Confirmed
  • Speaker 2

    • Name: Nurul Nur Azizah
    • Organization:
    • Designation: Managing Director
    • Gender: Female
    • Economy / Country of Residence: Indonesia
    • Stakeholder Group: Press / Media
    • Expected Presence: In-person
    • Status of Confirmation: Confirmed
  • Speaker 3

    • Name: Bishakha Dutta
    • Organization: Point of View
    • Designation: Co-Founder
    • Gender: Female
    • Economy / Country of Residence: India
    • Stakeholder Group: Civil Society
    • Expected Presence: In-person
    • Status of Confirmation: Proposed
  • Speaker 4

    • Name: Ellen Kusuma
    • Organization: AwasKBGO (Safenet)
    • Designation: Head Subdivision of Digital At-Risk
    • Gender: Female
    • Economy / Country of Residence: Indonesia
    • Stakeholder Group: Civil Society
    • Expected Presence: In-person
    • Status of Confirmation: Proposed
Please explain the rationale for choosing each of the above contributors to the session.
The contributors are selected based on their work in providing inclusive community-based support in general and legal support in particular, as well as a representative from an inclusive independent media outlet who has published extensive reports on gender-based-violence affected marginalised groups.

For instance, AwasKBGO who specifically provides support for survivors of online gender based violence working with an overarching community-based referral network locally in Indonesia. AwasKBGO will share how they set up their inclusive process to allow deaf and vision impaired survivors access their helpline and transfer digital security knowledge through their campaign.
Mishi Choudhary is a leading technology lawyer and founder of Her legal perspective can help in understanding how to combat Online GBV
Bishakha Dutt is the founder of POV which has been running an online helpline called Tech Saakhi.

To add specific perspectives from women journalists and independent media who actively covers online gender based violence and oftentimes helps to connect help-seeking survivors with the helpline providers, we invite, a feminist independent media from Indonesia.
Please declare if you have any potential conflict of interest with the Program Committee 2022.
Are you or other session contributors planning to apply for the APrIGF Fellowship Program 2022?
Brief Summary of Your Session
This panel effectively shared an overview of recent trends on online gender-based violence and online harassment in particular as well as highlighted ongoing efforts and challenges from the community-based helplines providing inclusive support. The first speaker of this panel, Nurul Nur Azizah (Nurul) from presented an overview and her firsthand experience of online harassment against her independent media website in the forms of doxxing and account hijacking. From a journalist perspective, she shared the lesson learned from to mitigate future attacks, including internal digital security training, networking with journalist associations and contacts from social media companies and collaboration with the authorities.
Zooming in to the perspectives of the online gender-based violence case handlers, the second speaker, Bishakha Datta from Points of View (PoV) shared experiences and challenges from TechSakhi (a remote GBV helpline set up by PoV). The helpline provides support through phone calls to be more accessible. The helpline receives 20-30 calls daily. Bishakha shared important challenges experienced by the case handlers or agents. They experienced harassment by perpetrators and opposition that often attacked them through the helpline service. These threats affected them mentally. As front liners, they also bear secondary trauma from assisting the survivors. It is imperative to take care of the handlers’ well-being and safety. Besides providing assistance to the victims, the helpline service needs to equip the survivors with knowledge on digital literacy in general and digital safety in particular. As TechSakhi aims for inclusive service, the helpline plans to expand its service in other local languages.
Moving on to Ellen Kusuma from AwasKBGO, which has provided support to OGBV survivors since 2018. Ellen shared a recent initiative in providing inclusive helpline service for the deaf and visually impaired. The helpline worked together with the deaf and visually impaired community to develop a guideline for accessibility. The helpline has started its collaboration with the deaf and visually impaired community by conducting Training on Trainers as knowledge and skill-sharing. Ellen shared one of their main challenges in processing the reported cases that is law enforcement bodies’ lack of knowledge in handling online gender-based violence cases. The helpline team tried to educate law enforcement and government agencies on several occasions. Seconding Ellen’s points on law enforcement, the last speaker, Radhika Jalani from Software Freedom Law Centre India underlined the importance of sensitizing law enforcement and government bodies to serve victims’ interests in a legal process. Radhika called for actions from digital platforms to mitigate online gender-based violence and to improve their internal policies and system for victims’ protection. Digital platforms shall perform the role to educate users’ literacy and safety.
Substantive Summary of the Key Issues Raised and the Discussion
The discussion with the audience covered significant points responding to the questions. The first one highlighted the non-discriminatory approach, anonymity and confidentiality that are compulsory in making victims, particularly from the LGBTQI+ community feel safe to access support and speak up. The discussion also questioned the male participation in supporting survivors which exists and in most cases the ally assisted victims to report their cases. Support from the ally is also needed to prevent victim blaming in processing the cases. The support provider shall be considerate to the victims, not pushing them to make a certain decision while providing support to OGBV victims. The last point highlighted at the end of the session is to educate law enforcement to apply a victim-centred process in responding the online gender-based cases. Two speakers also shared their experiences collaborating with law enforcement, government agencies and relevant networks to respond to OGBV cases.
Conclusions and Suggestions of Way Forward
From the session there were several conclusions on how to respond to online gender-based violence through community-based helplines, as follows:

• Provide inclusive support 
◦ The support providers including helplines shall ensure the inclusivity of their responses by enhancing the accessibility of the services such as adding more language availability and providing a guideline for persons with disabilities to file a report.
◦ To encourage victims to report their cases, the helplines shall apply the non-discriminatory principle and victim-friendly approach and ensure confidentiality and anonymity.
• Focus on the well-being of case handlers
◦ Provide support and extensive capacity building for helplines’ front liners to mitigate the risk of trauma and ensure their safety and security.
• Educate and sensitize law enforcement 
◦ conduct training and create a resource for law enforcement to sensitize their approach and improve their response in processing OGBV cases.
• The role of digital platforms 
◦ Improve their internal policies and system that focus on protecting victims
◦ Educate the users on digital literacy and safety
• Multi-stakeholders collaboration 
◦ Working together with relevant institutions and networks to ensure comprehensive support for victims
Number of Attendees (Please fill in numbers)
    Gender Balance in Moderators/Speakers (Please fill in numbers)
    • Moderators

      • Female: 2
    • Speakers

      • Female: 4
    How were gender perspectives, equality, inclusion or empowerment discussed? Please provide details and context.
    One of important topics that we addressed in this session was how to provide inclusive support to victims of online gender-based violence. Two speakers shared ongoing efforts to enhance their helplines' services.
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