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Research

Our research

Violence against women and their children affects everybody. It impacts on the health, wellbeing and safety of a significant proportion of Australians throughout all states and territories and places an enormous burden on the nation’s economy across family and community services, health and hospitals, income-support and criminal justice systems.

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News and events

ANROWS hosts events as part of its knowledge transfer and exchange work, including public lectures, workshops and research launches. Details of upcoming ANROWS activities and news are available from the list on the right.

ANROWS

About ANROWS

ANROWS was established by the Commonwealth and all state and territory governments of Australia to produce, disseminate and assist in applying evidence for policy and practice addressing violence against women and their children.

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Resources

To support the take-up of evidence, ANROWS offers a range of resources developed from research to support practitioners and policy-makers in delivering evidence-based interventions.


EXTERNALLY FUNDED RESEARCH PROJECTS

Detecting, preventing and responding to image-based abuse

Background

This project aims to investigate the efficacy of digital tools and interventions to detect, prevent and respond to image-based abuse (IBA), that is, the non-consensual creation or distribution of intimate images. Through a digital ethnography, victim and survivor and stakeholder interviews, online surveys and an AI chatbot, the project expects to generate evidence and theory on both IBA and internet governance. The expected outcomes include increased understanding of the responsibility of digital platforms and the drivers of image-based abuse; improved platform and service responses; enhanced industry and scholarly collaborations; and harm reduction. Expected benefits include improved laws, policies and practices to tackle IBA.

Aim

This project aims to:
- investigate the patterns, characteristics and methods of IBA perpetration on online platforms
- examine the scope, effectiveness and impacts of tools, policies and practices of online platforms and services that are designed to detect, prevent and respond to IBA
- develop theory on IBA perpetration, victimisation and internet governance.

Methods

This project will adopt a mixed-methods approach over six phases:
1. digital ethnography of perpetrator practices on digital platforms that host non-consensual nude or sexual imagery
2. a desk-based review of the tools, policies and practices of key digital platforms and services for detecting, preventing and responding to IBA
3. interviews with stakeholders to investigate their experiences of, and perspectives on, remedies for IBA
4. interviews with victims and survivors to explore experiences in seeking remedies for IBA
5. an online survey with adult victims and survivors of IBA to investigate experiences of legislative responses, content removal requests and support services
6. the design and build of an AI chatbot, which will provide online information, support and advice to victims and survivors, bystanders and perpetrators.

Significance

This research will inform policies and practices for detecting, preventing and responding to IBA, as well as other forms of online violence, abuse and harassment. It will contribute to criminal justice policy, education and legislative reform for the prevention of crime. It will provide practical recommendations for digital platforms and services in their responses to IBA in Australia and elsewhere that will directly benefit victims and survivors and inform organisational and governmental responses to this emerging social and legal problem. The project will also critically engage in debates about the future of artificial intelligence, the limits of sovereign laws, the unprecedented power of technology companies, and the role of these platforms and services for regulating harmful content online.

Funding Body

Australian Research Council (Project ID: FT200100604)

Funding Budget

$1,134,092

Project start date

March 2021

Expected completion date

March 2025
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