A study of sexual violence in the digital age: Working with technology-facilitated sexual violence against women within sexual violence support services

Hamid, Foziha (2019) A study of sexual violence in the digital age: Working with technology-facilitated sexual violence against women within sexual violence support services. Other thesis, Middlesex University / Metanoia Institute.

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Abstract

The progressively interactive capabilities of new technologies are combining to change the landscape of personal, social and professional lives. Research is growing on the use of technologies to sexually exploit, harass and abuse individuals, with the majority of studies focusing on the experiences of young people. Less is known about the experiences of adult women and the subsequent impact of these events. Addressing this gap in the research is therefore important in responding to and supporting women’s experiences of sexual violence facilitated by the use of technology.

The study is from a social constructionist perspective and utilised a qualitative methodological approach in the form of narrative inquiry and thematic analysis to analyse the data and is based upon interviews with five participants who work within sexual violence support services. It explored how participants construct meaning in relation to technology-facilitated sexual violence against women, how they respond to it and how it subsequently impacts victims. The data was then examined using thematic analysis, which identified four primary themes.

The findings demonstrate that understanding technology-facilitated sexual violence is a complex process encompassing the context, frequency and type of sexual violence experienced; it involves the sexualisation of women online and understanding online predatory behaviour. Participants report a negative personal and professional impact on victims, ranging from feelings of shame and fear of exposure to being prevented from pursuing professional goals. Service provision is viewed as inconsistent and problematic.

This study considers the findings in the context of theories of shame, the embodiment of harm online and the construction of identity in relation to technology. It also considers the changing landscape of sexual violence against women in relation to technology within the wider context of violence against women.

Item Type: Thesis (Other)
Research Areas: A. > School of Science and Technology
B. > Theses
C. Collaborative Partners > Metanoia Institute
Item ID: 26846
Depositing User: Brigitte Joerg
Date Deposited: 18 Jun 2019 09:18
Last Modified: 18 Jun 2019 09:20
URI: https://eprints.mdx.ac.uk/id/eprint/26846

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