Following are the findings of a new survey of the Israel Internet Association, conducted by the Geocartography knowledge Group at the end of 2021 among 620 respondents aged 18 and over (496 women and 123 men).
How common are online sexual harassments and abuses, and who do they target?
About a third of the respondents (32%) reported being subjected to sexual statements that made them feel uncomfortable – on the web or via apps. These numbers are higher among women (37%), young people between the ages of 18-34 (37%), and low-income users (35%).
Furthermore, about a quarter of the respondents (23%) noted that they were sexually harassed online or via apps; this number is higher among women (27%) and young people aged 18-34 (28%).
A lack of reporting sexual abuse and its reasons
Only a tenth (10%) of those who experienced sexual harassment online complained about it. Among those who didn’t complain, about a third (32%) explained the reason was that they didn’t believe the police would help. A quarter (25%) of respondents noted that they didn’t want to be exposed.
- Over a quarter of the respondents (27%) stated that they were asked to send private photos or videos. Women were asked to send private photos or videos twice as much as men (30% compared to 16%, respectively). More than a third of young people (ages 18-34) were asked to do so, as were about a quarter (24%) of the adult respondents (35-54).
- 14% stated that they sent their intimate photos or videos, compared to 86% who didn’t.
- About 6% of the respondents mentioned that they have been in a situation where someone distributed a sexually explicit video or photo of them without their permission. These rates are higher among the Arab population, where 15% experienced this.
- Only 4% of the respondents believe that there is sufficient protection for victims of online sexual abuse, compared to a significant majority (91%) who believe there is insufficient protection. The rates are even higher among women; 93% of female respondents noted inadequate protection for victims. Only 3% of the women replied that there is sufficient online protection.