Since its creation in 2019, Indela has accompanied various organizations that work to prevent and reduce online gender-based violence (VGL – violencia de género en línea) in Latin America. As part of an external evaluation carried out over these three years of the Initiative, a case study was developed on the work implemented in the VGL thematic axis, to analyze in depth the strategies and the impact of the projects accompanied. The processes led by Luchadoras, Hiperderecho and Cultivando Género were analyzed.

Findings and trends in Latin America

In recent years, new forms of gender violence have been configured through the use of digital technologies. Faced with this growing problem, the organizations that work at the intersection of feminism and technology in the region have redoubled efforts in the search for solutions, setting this matter as a priority within their agendas.

In some countries, specific regulations have been developed to recognize certain types of online gender-based violence as a crime, as in the case of Mexico, with the various reforms to the state Penal Codes, or in Peru, with the reforms to the Penal Code and other laws. Although these regulations are advances in the matter, they are still insufficient to guarantee access to justice for women who have experienced digital violence.

In this context, these three organizations have developed comprehensive strategies with three main lines of action:

  1. Empiric knowledge building through evidence reports, and data systematization to analyze the effectiveness of existing regulation and response mechanisms in these countries.
  2. Comprehensive legal support, which, on the one hand, allowed them to add to axis 1 empirical evidence on the legal complaint processes and also to clearly identify the legal challenges faced by people who denounce digital violence.
  3. Communication strategies for incidence online and offline, allows them to share information about gender-based violence online to identify and combat it, as well as to advise survivors of this violence. These campaigns are characterized by promoting non-revictimization, and the defense of the right to occupy and co-create the digital space.

Achievements and impact on VGL

The projects led by these three organizations have generated successful research processes that have deepened and confirmed the need to promote effective mechanisms for access to justice for survivors of online violence in both Mexico and Peru. In addition, legal support has allowed them to use these processes in their collective incidence strategies. Communication strategies have managed to reach new audiences inside and outside the niche, increasingly reaching women and LGBTIQ+ people who have experienced digital violence. 

Mainstreaming the gender perspective in the work of digital rights is essential to deepen the need for specific regulation that develops comprehensive mechanisms for access to justice, strengthen the regional articulation of organizations, and continue supporting the work and impact of these processes.