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Take action against unsolicited dick pics

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petition, dick pics, Empower Project, Calling for social media platforms to take a zero tolerance approach towards perpetrators.

Natasha Harpley started a petition recently calling on the UK Parliament, Twitter and Facebook to make it an offence for men to send unsolicited penis photos.

She was sent an ‘unsolicited dick pic’, via Facebook, because she turned down a stranger’s unwanted sexual advances.

To warn other women and to seek advice, she posted screenshots of his messages to her own timeline (with a content warning) and Facebook, punished her for breaking “Community Standards”, and blocked her from being able to use her own account, while the man who harassed her, and who she and multiple people reported, was still active.

It is not acceptable that men can be allowed to continue with such predatory behaviour and the women who try to warn others get punished.

Unwanted sexual advances and indecent exposure would not been acceptable in public so they should not be acceptable on social media or elsewhere.

We need to change the toxic culture in which sexually aggressive men continue to get away with intimidating and harassing women, because we have become desensitised to such actions and learn to shrug it off.

She is calling for the practise of sending ‘unsolicited dick pics’ to be illegal and for social media platforms to take a zero tolerance approach towards the perpetrators.

She is also imploring women to stop brushing off unwanted acts of intimidation and harassment by reporting the perpetrator and ‘outing’ them when possible.

We do not have to tolerate this and we must work together to stop this kind of behaviour becoming the norm.

Join her. #OutThem.

To sign her petition, click here.

And the Empower Project’s latest campaign, ‘Don’t be a Dick’, calls on policy makers and practitioners to take cyberflashing seriously.

Cyberflashing is when someone sends an intimate image of themselves to someone else without that person’s consent. It can be done through messages, DMs, PMs, airdrop and by email.

Cyberflashing is a crime.

It is also a form of gender-based violence and it needs to stop.

Many women and girls have already told the Empower Project about their experiences, and the Project knows what an impact it can have on people’s self-esteem, relationships, engagement in education and sexual autonomy.

So they are gathering your stories so we can speak out as one voice and make things change.

For their campaign they would like you to tell them about your experiences  – and what you think needs to change.

​We’d all like to see cyberflashing being taken seriously, and we’d also like to know why so many boys and men think it’s ok to send unsolicited pics.

And we want to see changes in how communities respond to it, and what can be done to support folk who have experienced it.

To get involved in the campaign, share the poster, and tell perpetrators ‘don’t be a dick’.

To tell the Empower Project your story, click here.

If you’ve experienced cyber flashing it can feel scary, unsettling, or overwhelming. And it can feel like you’re alone.

But you are not. There are organisations out there who can help you.

Here are links to some of them:

Childline: Support for under 18s, but lots of useful information for everyone about how to report cyberflashing on different platforms.

Chayn: A fantastic resource for survivors to access lots of different support tools online.

Rape Crisis Scotland: The national resource for those who’ve experienced sexual violence, with details of local groups and support services.

Scottish Women’s Aid: The national resource for those who experienced domestic abuse, with details of local support services.

And if you feel threatened, call the police on 999.

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