Technology-Related Violence Against Women

Technology is used in all categories of violence against women (e.g., sexual violence, harassment, stalking, intimate partner violence). Learn from research and evaluations on what distinguishes technology related violence against women, statistics about its incidence and prevalence, types of technology-related violence, and impacts including trauma.  View online resources on information communication technologies and violence against women, training curriculums, social media, safety tips and strategies, and prevention campaigns.  Check out how apps and technology are being used to support women experiencing violence and to reduce their risk of further harm.

2011 AP-MTV Digital Abuse Study
MTV partnered with the AP on a study that provides an in-depth look at bullying, abuse and discrimination in the digital age.

9 Notable VAW Facebook Groups from Ontario
This article highlights 9 Facebook pages from Ontario that are dedicated to ending Violence Against Women.

APPs & Devices for Safety
The advancement of technology has enabled women experiencing violence to access support and information immediately from the palm of their hands. GPS devices and mobile applications can help locate, identify, respond to, and support victims of violence and reduce their risk for further harm. Examples of these Apps and Devices are listed and described in this document.

Canada's Digital Future in Focus: 2012
comScore presents the 2012 Canada Digital Future in Focus, its annual report on the prevailing trends in general web usage and demographics, social media, online video,digital advertising, mobile and search that are defining the current Canadian marketplace and insights into what these trends mean for the year ahead.

Canadian Legal Remedies for Technology-Enabled Violence Against Women
This report, developed by Safety Net Canada of the BC Society of Transition Houses, discusses various Canadian legal remedies that could hold perpetrators accountable for technology-enabled violence against women.  The report outlines technology-related domestic violence homicides; the impact of technology-enabled sexual violence; whether laws need to be changed or added to combat this type of violence; victims’ rights to privacy and safety; and training and resources needed for the justice system.  The report is also presented in French.

Cyber Misogyny
Learning Network Brief 28
This learning brief examines cyber misogyny, or the various forms of gendered hatred, harassment, and abusive behaviour targeted at women and girls via the Internet. Manifestations and consequences of cyber misogyny are provided along with a discussion of the new opportunities to engage in harassment and abuse presented by the Internet and Canadian legal responses.

Cyber-Violence Against Women
This 2014 report, written by Jessica West for the Battered Women’s Support Services in B.C., looks at women’s experiences of cyber violence; impacts of cyber-violence against women; women’s resistance to cyber-violence; the community’s response to women who experience cyber-violence; and what needs to change.

Dwelling Characteristics and Household Equipment, by Province
Province specific information is also available in this document (e.g., Ontario specific stats).

E-Newsletter Issue 4: April 2013. Technology-Related Violence Against Women
Technology is playing a role in all categories of violence against women (e.g., sexual violence, harassment, stalking, intimate partner violence). Telephones, computers and the internet can be used to harm women. While the dynamics of violence largely remain the same, technology extends the reach and created new forms of abusive behaviour. Technology related violence erodes a woman's sense of safety.

End violence: Women’s Rights and safety online – Internet intermediaries and violence against women online YouTube: A case study
This 2014 study, conducted by Carly Nyst of Association for Progressive Communications, examines the policies of YouTube with respect to violence against women online.  Specifically, the report conducts a critical analysis of main trends, charts the impact and effectiveness of YouTube’s policies and procedures around violence against women, and provides a detailed breakdown of YouTube’s user policies, redress mechanisms and the evolution of its approach to violence against women.

End violence: Women’s rights and safety online – Technology-related violence against women: Recent legislative trends
This 2014 research report from the Association for Progressive Communications (APC) examines recent legislative developments that address and redress technology-related violence against women.  Four pieces of legislation are analyzed: 1) The South African Protection from Harassment Act 2010; 2) The Nova Scotia Cyber Safety At 2013; 3) The California SB 255 Electronic Communication Devices: Prohibited Distribution of Personal Information; and 4) The New Zealand Harmful Digital Communications Bill 2013.  Analyses of each legislation includes: an introduction; background; legislative history; recourse available through the legislation; and analysis and critique.

Human Rights, Gender Based Violence and the Use of ICTs and Digital Story Telling for Addressing Gender Based Violence – Training Manual
Aware Girls is an organization led by young women working for empowerment, gender equality, and peace in Pakistan.  Aware Girls developed a training manual to strengthen the knowledge and skills of young women so they can become agents of change and empowerment for addressing gender based violence in their communities.  Furthermore, this manual teaches the use of ICTs in addressing gender based violence and protecting human rights.  The training is comprised of seven modules: 1) getting to know each other; 2) human rights and mechanism of human rights protection; 3) gender, gender roles, and patriarchy; 4) violence against women; 5) use of ICTs for addressing gender based violence and human rights protection; 6) photo story, photography, photo editing and video making; and 7) digital story making.

Learning from a Survivor
Click here
for audio clips featuring a courageous woman sharing how her abusive partner used technology to continue to harass and abuse her after she separated from him.  You will learn about the impacts experienced by her and her children, and some of the safety strategies she employed at home and at work.

Listen to a woman's lived experience of technology-related intimate partner violence.
Learn from the steps she took to be safe. Available May 2013.

Information Communication Technologies and Trafficking in Persons.
Learning Network Brief 07.
(March 2013) Marcie Campbell & Linda Baker.

Online Training to Promote Safety from ICT-Related VAW
Compiled April 2013. A collection of online training initiatives from various organization that promote safety.

Self-reported Internet Victimization in Canada, 2012
Component of Statistics Canada catalogue no. 85-002-X. Juristat Article by Samuel Perreault.

Sexual Violence and Social Media – Building a Framework for Prevention
The report explores the relationship between sexual violence and social media among youth (ages 12 to 24) in Ontario.  Over 180 Ontario-based community organizations, educators, violence prevention advocates, and frontline workers were surveyed, with nine follow-up interviews with Ottawa stakeholders, regarding awareness of social media as a tool to perpetrate sexual violence; prevention strategies and initiatives; and key directions.  The research findings were integrated into 12 recommendations for approaching prevention of sexual violence related to social media.

Technology and Woman Abuse Online Training
This training from OAITH provides a series of e-presentations that raises awareness of how information and communication technologies can be used to abuse women and their children and how to implement technology safety strategies to minimize this risk of abuse.

Technology Based Violence Against Women: Background Papers and Technical Reports
Compiled in April 2013.  Collection of online resources and publications that discuss Information Communication Technologies in relation to Violence Against Women.

Technology Glossary.
Terms and references used when discussing technology. (April 2013)

Technology Safety Online Training Course
The Washington State Coalition Against Domestic Violence (WSCADV) designed this course for directors, administrators, and shelter and program managers to increase their knowledge and awareness of how technology can put clients’ and the agency’s privacy and safety at risk.

Technology Safety Quick Tips
This guide, developed by the National Network to End Domestic Violence (, lists specific technology devices, describes how these devices can be used to facilitate violence against women, and outlines effective tech-related safety strategies. The devices listed include: computer and phone monitoring software; keystroke logging hardware; Global Positioning Devices (GPS); mobile and cordless phones; faxes; teletypewriters (TTY) and relay services; cameras; email and the internet.

The Pixel Project: A Featured Online Campaign
As a completely virtual organization, the Pixel Project demonstrates the positive power of social media and Information Communication Technologies (ICTs).

The Use of Technology to Stalk Online Training
This training initiative was developed by the Stalking Resource Center of the National Center for Victims of Crime and the Office for Victims of Crime, U.S. Department of Justice.  The purpose of this online training is to educate and inform criminal justice professionals and victim service providers about the use of technology to stalk and harass victims in order to enhance their ability to work with survivors.

Online Training to Promote Safety from ICT-Related VAW
Compiled in April 2013.

Understanding Technology-Related Violence Against Women: Categories and Examples.
Learning Network Brief 06. (March 2013) Linda Baker, Marcie Campbell & Elsa Barreto.