1 in 4 women have been abused online, and in New Zealand it’s nearly a third. In light of this for International Women’s Day, Amnesty International New Zealand zooms in on its harrowing effect to women and created “The Sound of Unity”—an initiative that encourages people to finally put a stop on the issue.
Online harassment and abuse pushes its victims to silence. Of all the women surveyed who reported experiencing online abuse, 76% of them changed the way they use online platforms. That’s why Amnesty International launched She’s Brave–to support women and encourage social media owners to take action.
The Sound of Unity is an audio and visual icon made to help silence online abuse. It can be used as an alert tone that’s heard every time you receive a notification as well as a symbol of our fight to end online abuse. With your help, the Sound of Unity will quickly become the ‘audio badge’ for She’s Brave.
Meg de Ronde, Campaigns Director at Amnesty International New Zealand, says, “When we join together, we’re powerful. The Sound of Unity is a way for people around the world to show solidarity, to speak up in the face of abuse instead of looking the other way, and to encourage social media platforms to tackle this injustice. On International Women’s Day, you can join us and amplify the voices of women who are being silenced.”
The sound itself comes from the ancient Solfeggio scale. These tones produce specific frequencies that have been discovered to impact our mood and emotions. The frequency of the alert tone, ‘Re’ (417HZ), is said to undo negative situations and facilitate change.
To support the She’s Brave movement, New Zealanders are being encouraged to download the $2.39 alert tone here, and post an animated GIF on social feeds – to call a stop to any abusive behavior that’s occurring – an alternative dislike button.
Says Nat Knight, Creative Director at Colenso BBDO, “In the words of Nikola Tesla “If you want to find the secrets of the universe, think in terms of energy, frequency and vibration.” We wondered if he was onto something, could the power of an ancient sound frequency be directed at a growing modern problem – to stop people being negative, abusive, toxic, haters online. If an ancient sound can help to silence online abusive behaviour then that’s something I want to be part of.”
The campaign is supported by several leading figures in New Zealand, including Melanie Bracewell, TJ and Greer Perenara, and Tiki Tane – and will be seen across social, radio and TV.
The internet can be a frightening and toxic place for women. For those who are targeted, the consequences of online abuse are damaging – stress, anxiety, panic attacks, inability to sleep or concentrate for long periods of time, and ultimately, being silenced from online platforms, which are a critical space for people to exercise their right to freedom of expression. Amnesty International’s She’s Brave campaign is shining a light into the darkness, highlighting the consequences of this new frontier of abuse, and mobilising people to build a future based on respect and compassion, where everyone has a voice and can participate fully.
Amnesty International is a global movement of more than 7 million people who take injustice personally. We are campaigning for a world where human rights are enjoyed by all.
We are funded by members and people like you. We are independent of any political ideology, economic interest or religion. No government is beyond scrutiny. No situation is beyond hope. Few would have predicted when we started that torturers would become international outlaws. That most countries would abolish the death penalty. And seemingly untouchable dictators would be made to answer for their crimes.