DOJ tightens watch on gender-based online harassment

The Department of Justice (DOJ) on Friday approved the draft of guidelines for cases of Gender-Based Online Sexual Harassment (GBOSH) under Republic Act (RA) No. 11313 or the Safe Spaces Act.

In a statement, DOJ Office of Cybercrime (DOJ-OOC) Officer-in-Charge Charito Zamora said the draft will govern evidence-gathering and case build up for the GBOSH offenses.

Included in the draft is the designation of the Philippine National Police-Anti-Cybercrime Group to receive complaints regarding GBOSH cases, along with the National Bureau of Investigation-Cybercrime Division.

In cases where the investigation requires cooperation with foreign counterparts, law enforcement authorities shall coordinate with the DOJ – OOC.

RA No. 11313 defines GBOSH as a criminal act that uses information and communications technology in terrorizing and intimidating victims through:

1.Physical, psychological, and emotional threats, unwanted sexual misogynistic, transphobic, homophobic. and sexist remarks and comments online whether publicly or through direct and private messages;

2. Cyberstalking and incessant messaging;

3. Uploading and sharing without the consent of the victim any photos, voice, or video with sexual content;

4. Unauthorized recording and sharing of any of the victim’s photos, videos or any information online;

5. Impersonating identities of victims online or posting lies about victims to harm their reputation; or

6. Filing false abuse reports with online platforms to silence victims.

The Safe Spaces Act also penalizes all forms of sexual harassment in streets and public spaces, including workplaces and educational and training institutions.

Source: Philippines News Agency

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