Stop Online Violence Against Women

Type of Activity: Project
Grantee: Planetwork NGO
Amount: Updated to $435,000 in 2021 — originally approved as $135,000 in 2020 over two years

What is the Stop Online Violence Against Women Project?

Stop Online Violence Against Women Project (SOVAW), fiscally sponsored by Planetwork NGO, raises awareness and funding to stop online harassment. SOVAW addresses inadequate laws and policies that lack protections for women, particularly women of color. They focus on laws to prevent online violence against women and policy change at the local and federal level of government agencies, and they also work to hold technology and social media companies accountable.

SOVAW serves as a resource of services and options for women and women of color, based on their level of harassment or violence, and they work to include diverse stories of women who are willing to share their experiences. They highlight and include partnering organizations, legislators and companies who are working together to address this important issue.

Why do we think this project is important?

Stop Online Violence Against Women is exploring ways to reduce digital voter suppression and harassment on social media platforms, with an intersectional focus on women of color, through research, public education, and coordination with other groups working to solve this challenge. Advocacy and research are needed to pressure government and platforms to change the policies and functionality of platform algorithms, paid content, and content governance.

Digital and social media platforms are an undeniable and vital part of our public square, and serve as a major source of information for Americans throughout the country. For our democracy to function successfully, voices representing underserved or underrepresented communities must be able to contribute without the fear of harassment or threats against their safety. When women and people of color are silenced, our country loses out on important points of view that impact the discussion of common problems and potential solutions.

How is Democracy Fund Voice supporting Stop Online Violence Against Women Project?

In 2020, Democracy Fund Voice approved a grant of $135,000 over two years to the Stop Online Violence Against Women Project. In 2021 an amendment was approved to increase the amount of the grant by $300,000, for a total of $435,000.