Susie Hargreaves OBE, IWF CEO
I recently had the pleasure of being invited to speak at the British Islands and Mediterranean Region Commonwealth Women Parliamentarians Conference in Gibraltar on 8 February. The theme of the event was the Role of Parliamentarians in preventing Violence against Women.
Whilst in Gibraltar I spoke at an event looking at the abuse of women and girls on the internet, with particular focus on ‘Revenge Porn’ and the increased volume of self-generated content. In particular the panel and delegates were keen to understand how women were protected on social media sites. I was able to talk about criminal content and headline statistics for 2014 which showed that 80% of the images and videos we took action on were of girls.
A lively discussion was held after the panel presentations with an audience who were incredibly well informed and interested in the issue and who wanted to know what more they could do to support the fight against online child sexual abuse. Following the event I was able to speak with a number of delegates who were all extremely supportive of the Internet Watch Foundation’s (IWF) cause and in fact six Parliamentarians have since signed up as IWF Champions.
It is always humbling to be invited to contribute to gatherings like this one. What is even more humbling however is the resounding support for the IWF at events such as the Women Parliamentarians Conference.