The nature and impacts of technology-facilitated sexual violence in online dating

Ms Elena Cama1

1UNSW Law, Sydney, Australia

Technology-facilitated sexual violence refers to the use of digital communications technologies to aid the perpetration of sexual harms. The rising popularity of dating websites and mobile applications has seen a corresponding rise in media reports of technology-facilitated sexual violence occurring in this context, including the sending of unsolicited sexual images and the facilitation of contact-based offences. However, to date there has been little research that documents these experiences. Therefore, the aim of this paper is to explore the nature and impacts of people’s experiences of technology-facilitated sexual violence in online dating. This paper draws from survey data among adult Australians who use dating applications and websites. Surveys focused on participants perceptions of safety, and their experiences, impacts and responses to technology-facilitated sexual violence. This paper contributes to the growing body of research into the nature and harms of technology-facilitated sexual violence. It concludes with a discussion of some of the implications of these findings, and the author’s future research directions.


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