As digital technologies become more sophisticated, so does technology-facilitated gender-based violence (TFGBV). This type of violence can take many forms, from the release of personal information and private images without consent, to online stalking and death threats.
For perpetrators of TFGBV, the internet is their weapon of choice — it allows them to monitor and control their targets from anywhere in the world.
Victim-survivors have little recourse against the many forms of online gender-based violence, including threats of harm, some of which have been carried out. The resulting mental and physical health effects of TFGBV, among other impacts, have forced many victim-survivors out of online spaces and silenced their voices.
As the first publication in this series, this paper serves as an introduction to TFGBV and many of the concepts that will serve as the basis for this research project. Relying on the research done to date on TFGBV, this paper reviews some of the more common forms of TFGBV, including harassment, image-based sexual abuse, publication of personal information, doxing, stalking, impersonation, threats and hate speech. Following this review, the paper notes who is at greatest risk of being targeted by TFGBV, including victim-survivors of intimate partner violence, women in leadership positions, and women and LGBTQ+ people with intersecting marginalised equality factors. Finally, it highlights research that has identified the individual and systemic harms of TFGBV, including psychological and emotional effects, privacy and safety concerns, the silencing of women’s voices and economic impacts.