The project will document the lived experiences of victims to different forms of technology-facilitated sexual violence and harassment, and investigate the effectiveness of law and policy in responding to these new and emerging crimes.

  • Project dates: 2014
  • Funder: Australian Research Council (ARC) Discovery Project

Technology facilitated sexual violence and harassment is a serious issue that disproportionately affects women and young people. It includes behaviours such as: the distribution of unauthorised sexual images; images of sexual assault; online sexual harassment; and gender-based hate speech.

This study was the first comprehensive analysis of the characteristics and prevalence of technology facilitated sexual violence and harassment in Australia. The study examined the challenges these new harms pose for civil and criminal law.

A book based on this research, “Sex, Violence and Justice in the Digital Era” is forthcoming in 2017 (with co-Investigator, Dr Nicola Henry).

Publications

Powell, A & Henry, N (forthcoming) Sexual violence in a digital age, Basingstoke: Palgrave Macmillan.

Powell, A & Henry, N (forthcoming) ‘Technology-facilitated sexual violence victimization: results from an online survey of Australian adults’, Journal of Interpersonal Violence.

Henry, N & Powell, A (forthcoming) ‘Technology-facilitated sexual violence and harassment’, in CM Renzetti, JL Edleson & RK Bergen (eds), Sourcebook on violence against women (3rd edition), Thousand Oaks, Calif.: Sage Publications.

Powell, A & Henry, N (forthcoming) ‘Sexual violence and harassment in the digital era’, in R Sarre & A Deckert (eds), The Australian and New Zealand handbook of criminology, crime and justice.

Henry, N & Powell, A (2016) ‘Technology-facilitated sexual violence: a literature review of empirical research’, Trauma, Violence, and Abuse.

Henry, N & Powell, A (2016) ”Sexual violence in the digital age: the scope and limits of criminal law’, Social & Legal Studies.

Powell, A & Henry, N (2016) ‘Policing technology-facilitated sexual violence against adult victims: police and service sector perspectives‘, Policing & Society.

Powell, A & Henry, N (2015) Digital harassment and abuse of adult Australians: a summary report, Tech & Me Project, RMIT University and La Trobe University.

Henry, N & Powell, A (2015) ‘Embodied harms: gender, shame and technology-facilitated sexual violence in cyberspace’, Violence Against Women, vol. 21, no. 6, pp. 758-779.

Henry, N & Powell, A (2015) ‘Beyond the sext: technology-facilitated sexual violence and harassment against adult women’, Australian and New Zealand Journal of Criminology, vol. 48, no. 1, pp. 104-118.

Powell, A & Henry, N (2014) ‘Blurred lines? Responding to “sexting” and gender-based violence among young people’, Children Australia, vol. 39, pp. 119-124.

Henry, N & Powell, A (2014) ‘The dark side of the virtual world: towards a digital sexual ethics’, in N Henry & A Powell (eds), Preventing sexual violence: interdisciplinary approaches to overcoming a rape culture, Basingstoke: Palgrave Macmillan.

Key People

Lead researchers

Dr Anastasia Powell

Dr Anastasia Powell

Senior Research Fellow

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Technology-facilitated sexual violence and harassment: violence against women in cyberspace and the implications for legislative and policy reform

Dr Nicola Henry

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