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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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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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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.


SH.22.03

Technology-facilitated sexual harassment in the workplace: Perpetration, responses and prevention

Project length
21 months

While research has explored sexual harassment victimisation, little is known about the behaviours, characteristics and specific drivers of workplace technology-facilitated sexual harassment perpetration, and how technology platform providers might prevent, detect and respond.


Workplace technology-facilitated sexual harassment (WTFSH) involves unwelcome sexual conduct using digital technologies, perpetrated in a workplace context – within and beyond the physical location of the workplace, and during or after working hours.

WTFSH can include unwelcome sexual advances or requests, relational pursuit (including monitoring), sexually explicit communications and image-based abuse.


Research aim/s

This project will explore the behaviours, characteristics and specific drivers of WTFSH, focusing on young people and women, who are disproportionately impacted by WTFSH. This project aims to:

  1. identify the nature and drivers of WTFSH perpetration
  2. examine industry (technology provider) strategies to prevent, detect and respond to WTFSH
  3. produce evidence-based, policy-relevant recommendations that could inform responses to, prevention of, and practice innovation regarding WTFSH.

Methods

This project incorporates qualitative and quantitative methodologies across three key stages:

Stage One:
In-depth, qualitative interviews conducted with technology platform providers and online safety experts

Stage Two:
A national survey of adult perpetrators’ (18 to 65 years) engagement in WTFSH

Stage Three:
Online focus group discussions with young adults (18 to 39 years) using WTFSH scenarios involving young people and women, to prompt discussion of current laws, policy, tools, responses and support avenues relating to the detection, punishment and prevention of WTFSH.

 

Significance

This project will generate new knowledge and evidence of WTFSH perpetration for policymakers and stakeholders.

The project will help identify ways to improve resources to support victims and survivors and society more broadly, as well as evidence-based knowledge to prevent WTFSH through education and awareness-raising methods. The research reports produced from this project will also assist technology providers, organisations and governments to develop protocols and evidence-based policy to prevent, detect and respond to WTFSH.


Researchers

Project lead

Dr Asher Flynn, Associate Professor of Criminology, Monash University

Research team

Dr Anastasia Powell, Associate Professor of Criminology and Justice Studies, RMIT University

Research partners

The project will include an advisory group who represent and service women and young people from diverse demographic backgrounds, and key policy and safety stakeholders working within technology platforms across Australia.

Budget

$170,000 (excluding GST)

This project is funded by the Australian Government Department of Social Services.

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