Technology-Facilitated GBV

Working to end online violence and abuse

With the continuous and rapid advancement of technology, we have seen the sudden shift of our daily social, professional and economic routines to online spaces. Technology-Facilitated Gender Based Violence (TFGBV) occurs when an individual or group perpetrates violence against a person using – or assisted by – information and communication technologies or digital media, on the basis of their gender. It is also often referred to as ‘online harassment and abuse,’ ‘online violence,’ or ‘cyber violence’.

In Kurdistan, as in much of the rest of the world, TFGBV is increasing rapidly. TFGBV can have a significant impact on a survivor’s mental health and wellbeing, and should be taken seriously, and while TFGBV affects everyone, women, adolescent girls and female public figures are particularly at-risk.

A prominent culture of shame and adoption of the ‘honor’ system puts survivors in a particularly dangerous situation–with an increased threat of seeing online violence shifting to offline spaces, and facing severe societal stigma.


of women and girls experienced TFGBV in the past 12 months

UN Women, 2021

What SEED is doing to reduce and respond to TFGBV

SEED is committed to helping reduce TFGBV across Kurdistan by improving protection and prevention mechanisms, as well raising awareness of its risks, and changing attitudes to ensure survivors are supported and perpetrators are held accountable, including:

  • Founding and leading the Iraq TFGBV Task Force–the first of its type around the world

  • Training and educating frontline responders such as Department of Combating Violence Against Women and Families (DCVAW), the Ministry of Labor and Social Affairs (MOLSA), and national NGOs

  • Protecting and supporting survivors of TFGBV and those at-risk by providing comprehensive mental health support, legal services, and cash assistance

  • Strengthening legislation to criminalize TFGBV and provide legal protections for survivors

  • Conducting research to strengthen the understanding of how TFGBV manifests in Iraq and how it is being responded to

  • Developing Standard Operating Procedures for frontline service providers

  • Carrying out awareness raising campaigns

  • Providing prevention and awareness sessions for adolescent girls and their parents on TFGBV and online safety measures through the SEED Girls Program

  • Partnering with international and national technology companies including Meta and iQ Net to raise public awareness and provide training to protection actors across Iraq

The Iraq TFGBV Task Force

Founded in December 2021, the Iraq TFGBV Task Force aims to bring NGOs, civil society, and government entities together to strengthen the prevention of, and response to, TFGBV across Iraq and the Kurdistan Region to ensure that survivors and those at-risk are protected, supported, and empowered. SEED jointly established the TFGBV Task Force with other members of the GBV Sub-Cluster in Iraq, and currently serves as co-lead. Its three objectives are:

  • Enhance understanding of TFGBV in Iraq

  • Strengthen protection responses to TFGBV in Iraq

  • Strengthen prevention efforts of TFGBV in Iraq

Join the Task Force: