Take Back The Tech! starts today on the International Day for the Elimination of Violence Against Women.

To mark the event, we are launching our online mapping platform on technology-related violence against women.

Throughout the 16 days, we are calling for stories that speak the realities of violence against women that takes place online, or through the use of mobile phones. We want to create a collective testimony on technology-related violence against women that cannot be ignored. Make the invisible visible, and document!

Why document?

  • Mapping reality

    Although cases of online harassment, cyberstalking, violations of privacy and other forms of technology-related VAW are on the rise, many of these experiences remain untold and undocumented. Their invisibility and our seeming acceptance inflect online spaces and practice with a culture that appears willing to tolerate acts of violence against women.

    Monitoring efforts by the government on cases of violence against women often omit this growing form of violence. Without documentation, they remain unrecognised, excluded or little understood in the concerted efforts to end the persistent reality of violence against women all over the world. To map our experiences is to demand recognition. This is the first critical step towards meaningful change.

  • Controlling our narratives

    Experiences of technology-related forms of violence against women are often only seen and heard through the lens of sensationalism in mass media, such as the involvement of famous people or extreme violence. Women and girls are often portrayed as socially and technically disempowered, and technological platforms are blamed for the violence instead of systemic and structural inequalities that enable violence against women to happen. When we write our own story, we are reclaiming our experiences and taking greater control over how it is seen and heard.

  • Creating connections.

    By telling our stories collectively, we are calling for connections between women and girls who think their stories are isolated, insignificant or anomalous. Every story contains a shared experience. When we listen and tell our response, we are building solidarity and strength. Because each story is part of a whole that we create together, as people who see, who act, who tell, who respond, who reinforce, who subvert, who disrupt, who transform.

The call to document is a call to bear witness, to take control of our own narratives and to claim the power of stories to change the world.

Map it!

1) Put your story on the map.

  • Go to the Take Back The Tech! online mapping platform.
  • You can map any experience, report or cases of violence against women that happened online or through the use of the internet or mobile phones.
  • Document your own experience, or ask someone you know to share hers.
  • If you would like to report someone else's story, please make sure you have her express permission and consent.
  • Map safely: You can choose to make the story anonymous to protect your identity or the identity of the person affected by changing important details such as your/her real name, age, type of employment and location. This allows the story to be heard, without putting the story-teller's sense of privacy further at risk.
  • Stories from news reports in the media can also be mapped here. You can either do this on your own as an when they are published, or get together with a group of friends to go through particular media in your country for the past year.

2) Submit a story

  • You can send us your story by email to: map@takebackthetech.net; OR
  • Post it directly by clicking "Submit a report".
  • Write your experience and use the map to mark the area where it happened.
  • To protect your privacy, please do not put in your home address or street address. You can mark a general location at the town/city where it happened, or use the button with the rectangle icon to mark an area.
  • For more information on how to submit a report, click here.

3) Grow the campaign

  • Spread the word to your networks on mailing lists, Twitter, Facebook or other social media. If you are tweeting, join the #16days tweetathon to raise this issue as a global trending topic on 25th Nov! Don't forget to add #16days and #takebackthetech hashtags on your tweets.
  • Localise the campaign! Translate the map, organise a dialogue with friends and activists and add your stories. Email us to brainstorm ideas and find out how you can Take Back the Tech! where you are.
  • Blog about it, add the campaign icon on your site and start a conversation.

Keep checking the site for more actions you can take throughout the 16 days. including mapping specific areas of technology-related VAW, strategies and ideas on how to better protect your safety and privacy online, and creative action to exercise our rights online.

Take Back The Tech!