DeStalk launches online course against cyber violence

The DeStalk consortium partners have launched an online course that trains public officials and workers, both in victim support services and programs for offenders, with the objective of effectively combating the digital forms of gender violence

The IT security community, research and civil society organizations as well as local authorities collaborated with the your knowledge to define the content of this course online.

Since February 2022, the partners of the DeStalk consortium have developed an online training , with the aim of preventing gender-based cyberviolence and helping victims. According to the European Institute for Gender Equality, one in ten women over years1 was a victim of cyberviolence. In Europe, seven out of ten women who have been cyberbullied have also suffered at least one form of physical or sexual violence from their partner.

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O stalkerware is commercially available software that is used to secretly spy on another person’s private life through a smart device, and is often used as a tool for dating violence. According to Kaspersky’s State of Stalkerware study, in total 6.871 users of mobile phones in the EU were affected by stalkerware in 2020, with Germany, Italy, France and Spain registering almost a thousand cases, being the countries most affected. In the same year, in Portugal, they were registered 100 cases of stalkerware.

The new course online fills a knowledge gap, as this form of violence is a worldwide known problem. However, professionals and civil servants need more training to improve their ability to recognize and combat cyber violence and stalkerware.

“The new ways of Dating violence, such as cyber violence and stalkerware, need professionals who can understand how to address these issues and avoid risks while protecting victims. In addition, policymakers and other stakeholders are a crucial part of the fight against domestic violence. This practical and victim-centred training, oriented towards professionals and interested parties, aims to deepen knowledge on the topic of cyberviolence and stalkerware, and provide resources to face it“, shares Berta Vall , associate professor at the Faculty of Psychology, Education and Sport Sciences of the Fundação Blanquerna.

Multilingual training and online

Kaspersky has developed a learning module online in collaboration with the Blanquerna Foundation, Una Casa per l’Uomo, Regione del Veneto and WWP EN. The course is available on Kaspersky’s Platform for Security Awareness, one of the company’s educational platforms. The creation of the course online was made possible thanks to the support of the Rights, Equality and Citizenship Program (REC) of the European Commission.

*)“We are very proud to have guided the work on the DeStalk online course, with the collaboration of our partners specializing in research and education, civil society organizations and government authorities to develop the content this important training on cyber violence and stalkerware. Combining everyone’s knowledge in different disciplines, we have designed a unique online course on our platform, which aims to improve the skills of professionals and government authorities working in the field of domestic violence, through a micro learning approach and automated training pathways, which they will allow users to learn at their own pace and acquire the skills needed to support victims of cyber violence and stalkerware”, comments Alfonso Ramírez, Director General of Kaspersky Iberia.

The training is open to EU representatives of institutions and services that address gender violence and is available in five languages: English, French, German, Italian and Spanish. One hundred users will have access to the e-learning platform free of charge to complete the program before August 2022. The course is designed for autonomous learning, which means that each student will study at their own pace, being regularly motivated by the platform itself. Although it depends on the time that each person can dedicate to the course, it is estimated that, dedicating between 15 and 90 weekly minutes, it is possible to complete it within four weeks.

“Regional policies for preventing and combating violence against women must be updated and include all new forms of abuse. It is necessary to raise awareness and increase knowledge about the subject and everything that cyberviolence and harassment entail, in addition to focusing on specific training for everyone involved, which is a fundamental topic to improve its effectiveness”, refers Valeria Motterle, PO International Projects in the Veneto region.

Fast acquisition of skills

The e-learning course is structured in four modules that include topics on “​​Introduction to gender violence and cyber violence”, “recognition of the most common forms of gender cyber violence”, “in-depth training on stalkerware”, “practical guidance on what to do when dealing with cyber violence and stalkerware”, according to the specific area of ​​activity (public agency, aggressor program or victim support service).

“Although professionals are aware of the existence of rms of violence online or through devices commonly used in our day-to-day, they also admit not having specific knowledge and skills on the subject, both with regard to the detection and assessment of violence, as well as practical work with aggressors or victims. This lack of knowledge leads to a low effectiveness of prevention and the opposition of measures adopted by these two types of services”, says Elena Gajotto, Project Director of Una Casa per l ‘Uomo.

Professionals and civil servants who wish to participate in the training must register using the registration form available on the DeStalk website.

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