St. Stephen's Community House participants

Tara Farahani

Tara FarahaniTara Farahani

Bae wants me to sext

The stories of Rehtaeh Parsons and Amanda Todd evoke a brutal side of the internet: Young women who become prey to cyber sexual violence. For peer researcher Tara Farahani, that experience was too familiar.

“I was the victim of cyber-stalking. It took a year and a half before it finally stopped. I was lucky – people I worked with knew what to do.”

Many young women aren’t so lucky. But webwise.ca can change that. Designed by young women from St. Stephen’s, METRAC and East Metro Youth Services, webwise.ca helps young women who have been victimized through gender-based violence, cyber bullying, slut shaming, victim blaming and human trafficking. Webwise.ca is a new avenue of support when traditional ones can’t help. One young woman told a police officer that someone tweeted her a death threat. The officer said, ‘What's a tweet?’ ”

Webwise.ca empowers young women and helps them take control. “Asking women to go offline is asking them to remove themselves from an entire online world. Instead, we wanted to take a harm-reduction approach. We lay out the risks, but also outline how you can be safer.”

Read more stories