The Emerald International Handbook of Technology-Facilitated Violence and Abuse

ISBN: 978-1-83982-849-2, eISBN: 978-1-83982-848-5

Publication date: 4 June 2021


Bailey, J. (2021), "Introduction", Bailey, J., Flynn, A. and Henry, N. (Ed.) The Emerald International Handbook of Technology-Facilitated Violence and Abuse (Emerald Studies In Digital Crime, Technology and Social Harms), Emerald Publishing Limited, Leeds, pp. 21-23.



Emerald Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2021 Jane Bailey. Published by Emerald Publishing Limited. This chapter is published under the Creative Commons Attribution (CC BY 4.0) licence. Anyone may reproduce, distribute, translate and create derivative works of these chapters (for both commercial and non-commercial purposes), subject to full attribution to the original publication and authors. The full terms of this licence may be seen at


This chapter is published under the Creative Commons Attribution (CC BY 4.0) licence. Anyone may reproduce, distribute, translate and create derivative works of these chapters (for both commercial and non-commercial purposes), subject to full attribution to the original publication and authors. The full terms of this licence may be seen at

As the introduction to this Handbook made clear, technology-facilitated violence and abuse (TFVA) includes a spectrum of behaviors carried out through a diverse range of digital technologies. The eight chapters in the book's first section focus on TFVA issues and experiences across that spectrum, creating a foundation for subsequent sections that focus on particular forms of TFVA.

The first two chapters by Suzie Dunn and Chandell Gosse set the stage for this section and, in many ways, for the collection as a whole, by grappling with some key underlying concepts and concerns, particularly the importance of language, and the deep interplay between so-called “online” and “offline” experiences of violence and abuse. Dunn's chapter addresses the not infrequently asked question of whether the term “violence” is actually applicable to the broad range of behaviors that this Handbook argues fall under the umbrella of TFVA. She examines this question from both sociopolitical and legal perspectives. In particular, she draws on feminist and critical race scholar approaches which, respectively, conceptualize sexual violence as falling on a continuum (Kelly, 1988) and identify systemic violence arising from often intersecting oppressions such as racism and misogyny (Matsuda, Lawrence, Delgado, & Crenshaw, 1993), as well as legal analysis of particular instances of TFVA in Canada and the European Union. Ultimately, Dunn argues that “violence” is an apt and necessary term for ensuring socio-cultural recognition and condemnation of harmful technology-facilitated behaviors.

Like Dunn's chapter, Gosse's chapter highlights the importance of language for ensuring more widespread recognition of the harms suffered by TFVA targets. In her chapter, she reports on findings from interviews she conducted with women who had been targets of TFVA. Her women participants' experiences help to illustrate the negative impacts of what she refers to as the “increasingly redundant distinctions between online and offline.” Ultimately, she argues that the “digital dualism” of the online/offline distinction leads to the “treatment of offline life as more real than online life,” thereby denying “women who experience online abuse the space they deserve to have the abuse seen, interpreted, and treated as real and embodied.”

The next six chapters in this section engage with these insights in a variety of ways in the context of examining TFVA-related experiences within communities less frequently accounted for in the literature.

Walter S. DeKeseredy, Danielle M. Stoneberg, and Gabrielle L. Lory's chapter offers additional insights undercutting the online/offline distinction explored by Gosse. Their chapter examines the literature relating to the polyvictimization of North American women university/college students and considers the contribution of TFVA to these women's multiple victimization experiences. Noting emerging research demonstrating that TFVA has become “part and parcel of women's polyvictimization experiences at institutions of higher learning,” they argue for comprehensive multi-pronged strategies that recognize the “co-occurrence of offline and online victimization,” as part of a broader problem of male-to-female abuse on North American post-secondary campuses.

The chapters by Olusean Makinde, Emmanuel Olamijuwon, Nchelem Ichegbo, Cheluchi Onyemelukwe, and Michael Ilesanmi, and by Edgar Pacheco and Neil Melhuish report on the results of quantitative studies relating to a broad range of TFVA behaviors among two lesser studied communities. Makinde et al. report findings from their online survey of young people in sub Saharan Africa, a relatively understudied population in a geographic location where digital connectivity is an increasingly emphasized tool of economic growth and development. Among other things, their findings hint at the interconnection between “online” and “offline.” For example, they suggest that their finding that the reporting of “gender-related abuse was much higher in women than several other forms of abuse,” may be indicative of a “carry over to the digital space” of more broadly based patriarchal norms.

Pacheco and Melhuish's chapter details survey results relating to adult perpetrators of TFVA behaviors (e.g., unwanted sexual solicitations, etc.) in New Zealand. Given that much existing research focuses on targets of TFVA, as well as on young people (especially in the context of cyberbullying), their findings offer perspectives on TFVA from a different standpoint – that of the adult perpetrator. Better understanding the perspectives and motivations of perpetrators is likely to be an important component of developing meaningful, preventative approaches to TFVA. Like Makinde et al.’s chapter, aspects of Pacheco and Melhuish's chapter also speak to online/offline connections. For example, while almost half of their participants who had engaged in TFVA behaviors “indicated their actions occurred online only,” significantly higher numbers of younger participants (aged 18–29 and 30–39) reported a connection between their online behavior and an offline or face-to-face situation.

The final two chapters in this section by Jane Bailey and Sara Shayan, and Bronwyn Carlson and Ryan Frazer focus on the experiences and effects of TFVA on Indigenous peoples – communities not often focused on in existing TFVA research. Both chapters illustrate the deep imbrication between “real/virtual” and “online/offline,” highlighting how pre-existing systemic prejudices and cultural norms and practices are reflected in and re-entrenched through technologies. Bailey and Shayan's chapter discusses the impact of technology on the missing and murdered Indigenous women crisis in Canada, pointing not only to technology's use in perpetrating interpersonal violence and abuse against Indigenous women and girls, but also its use by the state to facilitate ongoing colonialist and misogynist abuses targeting Indigenous women, as well as Indigenous communities at large.

Carlson and Frazer's chapter focuses on cyberbullying and Indigenous peoples. They compellingly illustrate why “there are good reasons to assume that online conflict is different for Indigenous peoples because of diverse cultural practices and the broader political context of settler-colonialism.” Their insights demonstrate the profoundly negative impacts of standardized scholarly approaches to cyberbullying on developing nuanced understandings of the ways in which cyberbullying is enacted and experienced. Noting that such approaches are “delimiting [scholarship's] ability to attend to social difference in online conflict,” they “join calls for more theoretically rigorous, targeted, difference-sensitive studies into bullying.”


Kelly, 1988 Kelly, L. (1988). Surviving sexual violence. Cambridge: Polity Press.

Matsuda et al., 1993 Matsuda, M. , Lawrence, C. , Delgado, R. , & Crenshaw, K. (1993). Words that wound: Critical race theory, assaultive speech and the first amendment. New York, NY: Routledge.

Technology-Facilitated Violence and Abuse: International Perspectives and Experiences
Section 1 TFVA Across a Spectrum of Behaviors
Chapter 1 Introduction
Chapter 2 Is it Actually Violence? Framing Technology-Facilitated Abuse as Violence
Chapter 3 “Not the Real World”: Exploring Experiences of Online Abuse, Digital Dualism, and Ontological Labor
Chapter 4 Polyvictimization in the Lives of North American Female University/College Students: The Contribution of Technology-Facilitated Abuse
Chapter 5 The Nature of Technology-Facilitated Violence and Abuse among Young Adults in Sub-Saharan Africa
Chapter 6 The Face of Technology-Facilitated Aggression in New Zealand: Exploring Adult Aggressors' Behaviors
Chapter 7 The Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women Crisis: Technological Dimensions
Chapter 8 Attending to Difference in Indigenous People's Experiences of Cyberbullying: Toward a Research Agenda
Section 2 Text-Based Harms
Chapter 9 Introduction
Chapter 10 “Feminism is Eating Itself”: Women's Experiences and Perceptions of Lateral Violence Online
Chapter 11 Claiming Victimhood: Victims of the “Transgender Agenda”
Chapter 12 Doxxing: A Scoping Review and Typology
Chapter 13 Creating the Other in Online Interaction: Othering Online Discourse Theory
Chapter 14 Text-Based (Sexual) Abuse and Online Violence Against Women: Toward Law Reform?
Section 3 Image-Based Harms
Chapter 15 Introduction
Chapter 16 Violence Trending: How Socially Transmitted Content of Police Misconduct Impacts Reactions toward Police Among American Youth
Chapter 17 Just Fantasy? Online Pornography's Contribution to Experiences of Harm
Chapter 18 Intimate Image Dissemination and Consent in a Digital Age: Perspectives from the Front Line
Section 4 Dating Applications
Chapter 19 Introduction
Chapter 20 Understanding Experiences of Sexual Harms Facilitated through Dating and Hook Up Apps among Women and Girls
Chapter 21 “That's Straight-Up Rape Culture”: Manifestations of Rape Culture on Grindr
Chapter 22 Navigating Privacy on Gay-Oriented Mobile Dating Applications
Section 5 Intimate Partner Violence and Digital Coercive Control
Chapter 23 Introduction
Chapter 24 Digital Coercive Control and Spatiality: Rural, Regional, and Remote Women's Experience
Chapter 25 Technology-Facilitated Violence Against Women in Singapore: Key Considerations
Chapter 26 Technology as Both a Facilitator of and Response to Youth Intimate Partner Violence: Perspectives from Advocates in the Global-South
Chapter 27 Technology-Facilitated Domestic Abuse and Culturally and Linguistically Diverse Women in Victoria, Australia
Section 6 Legal Responses
Chapter 28 Introduction
Chapter 29 Human Rights, Privacy Rights, and Technology-Facilitated Violence
Chapter 30 Combating Cyber Violence Against Women and Girls: An Overview of the Legislative and Policy Reforms in the Arab Region
Chapter 31 Image-Based Sexual Abuse: A Comparative Analysis of Criminal Law Approaches in Scotland and Malawi
Chapter 32 Revenge Pornography and Rape Culture in Canada's Nonconsensual Distribution Case Law
Chapter 33 Reasonable Expectations of Privacy in an Era of Drones and Deepfakes: Expanding the Supreme Court of Canada's Decision in R v Jarvis
Chapter 34 Doxing and the Challenge to Legal Regulation: When Personal Data Become a Weapon
Chapter 35 The Potential of Centralized and Statutorily Empowered Bodies to Advance a Survivor-Centered Approach to Technology-Facilitated Violence Against Women
Section 7 Responses Beyond Law
Chapter 36 Introduction
Chapter 37 Technology-Facilitated Violence Against Women and Girls in Public and Private Spheres: Moving from Enemy to Ally
Chapter 38 As Technology Evolves, so Does Domestic Violence: Modern-Day Tech Abuse and Possible Solutions
Chapter 39 Threat Modeling Intimate Partner Violence: Tech Abuse as a Cybersecurity Challenge in the Internet of Things
Chapter 40 Justice on the Digitized Field: Analyzing Online Responses to Technology-Facilitated Informal Justice through Social Network Analysis
Chapter 41 Bystander Apathy and Intervention in the Era of Social Media
Chapter 42 “I Need You All to Understand How Pervasive This Issue Is”: User Efforts to Regulate Child Sexual Offending on Social Media
Chapter 43 Governing Image-Based Sexual Abuse: Digital Platform Policies, Tools, and Practices
Chapter 44 Calling All Stakeholders: An Intersectoral Dialogue about Collaborating to End Tech-Facilitated Violence and Abuse
Chapter 45 Pandemics and Systemic Discrimination: Technology-Facilitated Violence and Abuse in an Era of COVID-19 and Antiracist Protest