The role of emerging communication technologies in experiences of sexual violence: A new legal frontier? Nicole Bluett-Boyd, Bianca Fileborn, Antonia Quadara and Sharnee Moore

Cover of Research Report 23

This research study investigates how communication technologies facilitate sexual violence against young people and what challenges this presents for the Victorian criminal justice system. Based on interviews with young people and professionals working with young people, it examines the effects of technology on the lives of young people, the interface between emerging communication technologies and experiences of sexual violence, and the factors that enable or hinder appropriate legal responses. Communication technologies such as online social networking sites and mobile phones are considered, and their use in identifying and grooming potential victims, blackmail and intimation, sexting, harassment, and pornography.

Full publication

Key messages

The key messages identified by the study included:

Acknowledgements

This research relied on the involvement of 46 legal practitioners, police officers, educators, policy experts, university academics, counsellors, advocates and other professionals who generously shared their expertise and experiences. We extend our sincere thanks for the contribution they have made to our knowledge about young people, technology and sexual violence.

The research grew from earlier work conducted by the Australian Centre for the Study of Sexual Assault (ACSSA) (within the Australian Institute of Family Studies [AIFS]) and others, and we offer our thanks to the many researchers and practitioners who have assisted us to identify technology as a growing area of concern in the sexual assault field. We also gratefully acknowledge the contribution of former AIFS Senior Research Officer Deb Parkinson in devising the project and securing funding.

AIFS Research Officers Nicole Bluett-Boyd and Bianca Fileborn, and Research Fellow Sharnee Moore undertook the fieldwork for this project. Nicole Bluett-Boyd and Bianca Fileborn completed the analysis. AIFS Research Officer Cindy Tarczon created and maintained the online profiles of the project, including the project's Facebook page. Members of the research team - Cindy Tarczon, Mary Stathopoulos and Liz Wall - and other AIFS staff assisted throughout the project and added additional insights. Particular thanks also go to the AIFS Deputy Director (Research), Dr Daryl Higgins, for his support and intellectual guidance.

This project was conducted with the support of the CASA Forum, the peak body representing the 15 Centres Against Sexual Assault in Victoria. We thank Carolyn Worth in particular for her support. We are also especially grateful for the support, enthusiasm and insights offered by Juliet Summers. Thanks also to the other members of our project reference group - Robert Ridley, Ross Monaghan, Rosetta Moors, Gina Squatrito, Deborah Elkington, Tanya Andrusiak, Antoinette Ellul, and Steve Ballek - for their invaluable guidance and expertise.

Finally, we thank the Legal Services Board of Victoria for having the vision to fund this work.

Dr Antonia Quadara
Coordinator, Australian Centre for the Study of Sexual Assault

Please note

Some of the content in this report contains information that may cause distress to the reader.

If distressed, please call 1800RESPECT (1800 737 732).

Disclaimer

The Australian Institute of Family Studies is committed to the creation and dissemination of research-based information on family functioning and wellbeing. Views expressed in its publications are those of individual authors and may not reflect those of the Australian Institute of Family Studies or the Australian Government.

Authors

Nicole Bluett-Boyd, Bianca Fileborn, Dr Antonia Quadara and Sharnee Moore are all at the Australian Institute of Family Studies.

Publishing details

AIFS Research Report 23, 2013
Published by the Australian Institute of Family Studies, February 2013, 88 pp. ISBN 978-1-922038-19-7, ISSN 1477-1477 (online)

Legal Services Board of VictoriaThis work was funded by the Legal Services Board of Victoria. Views expressed in this publication are those of individual authors and may not reflect those of the Legal Services Board of Victoria, the Australian Government or the Australian Institute of Family Studies.

Suggested citation:

Bluett-Boyd, N., Fileborn, B., Quadara, A., & Moore, S. (2013). The role of emerging communication technologies in experiences of sexual violence: A new legal frontier? (Research Report No. 23). Melbourne: Australian Institute of Family Studies.

Creative Commons - Attribution CC BY Copyright information


Next: Executive Summary

^ Top