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Pervasive online abuse and harassment pressure women and girls into censoring themselves on social media and fuel gender-based discrimination and violence, rights groups said Monday. About one in four women in the United Kingdom, the United States and six other countries said in a survey they had experienced online abuse or harassment.Nearly half of girls aged 11 to 18 in the U.K. said they had experienced abuse or harassment on social media, Plan found in a survey earlier this year.Parents, teachers and police often respond to online abuse by taking away girls' phones or telling them to go offline, which teaches victims that they are responsible for the problem, Smith said.Online harassment, including crude comments on pictures or sexual references, teaches boys that it is acceptable to treat girls as sexual objects and to exercise power over them, which can lead to physical abuse and rape, she added.
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