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GISF, KNUST WOCOM SRC Launch ShieldHer: Recover And Empower Campaign Against Online Image-Based Sexual Violence

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Kumasi, Ghana—-The Ghana Internet Safety Foundation (GISF), in collaboration with the Women’s Commissioner Office (WOCOM) of the KNUST Student Representative Council (SRC), is proud to announce the launch of a groundbreaking anti-sextortion campaign.

This initiative is designed to combat the escalating threats of sextortion, revenge porn, and financial sextortion that disproportionately affect university students in Ghana and across the African continent.

Emerging research from the GISF reveals that approximately 40% of university students in Ghana have been exposed to some form of online sexual coercion or exploitation, with similar patterns observed throughout many African countries.

The digital age, while offering numerous advantages for education and connectivity, has also introduced new avenues for exploitation, significantly impacting students’ mental health and academic performance.

The mental health crisis stemming from these digital abuses cannot be overstated. Victims often suffer from severe psychological distress, including depression, anxiety, and a heightened risk of suicidal thoughts. The GISF and KNUST’s WOCOM SRC’s anti-sextortion campaign aims to directly address these issues, promoting a safer online environment through education, support, and advocacy.

Mavis Akombila, WOCOM Commissioner at KNUST, passionately stated, “Our collective silence on the issue of digital sexual abuse has allowed it to fester and grow in the shadows.

This campaign is a loud declaration that enough is enough. We are empowering our students to take a stand against sextortion by arming them with knowledge and resources. Together, we are building a culture of digital respect and consent.”

The President of the Ghana Internet Safety Foundation emphasized, “The digital landscape should be a space of empowerment, not exploitation.

This campaign is at the heart of GISF’s mission to make the internet a safer place for Ghanaian youth.

By equipping students with the tools to protect themselves and by advocating for more robust legal protections, we are taking a crucial step towards a future where everyone can navigate the digital world without fear.”

The campaign will feature an array of educational programs, including workshops, seminars, and digital literacy resources, aimed at enlightening students about sextortion and its consequences.

It will also provide essential support services, such as psychological counseling and legal assistance, to help victims recover and seek justice.

About the Ghana Internet Safety Foundation (GISF)

The Ghana Internet Safety Foundation is a leading organization dedicated to promoting internet safety and digital rights in Ghana. Through advocacy, education, and support services, GISF aims to create a secure online environment for all Ghanaians, with a focus on protecting young and vulnerable users from digital harms.

About WOCOM SRC

The Women’s Commissioner Office (WOCOM) of the KNUST Student Representative Council (SRC) is committed to advocating for the rights and welfare of female students, promoting gender equality, and addressing the unique challenges faced by women within the university community.

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