02 January 2019

The role of emerging communication technologies in experiences of sexual violence: A new legal frontier?

This research study from AIFS investigated how communication technologies facilitate sexual violence against young people and what challenges this presents for the Victorian criminal justice system. The study found that emerging communication technologies helped facilitate sexually violent acts, before, during and after an offence. Specifically, technologies helped to increase the accessibility of potential victims before a sexually violent act through being able to create a false sense of connection between offender and victim. During the act of sexual violence, technologies can be used to record non-consensual sexual activity and threats to distribute this material used to further coerce and victimise. After an act of either consensual or non-consensual sexual activity, offenders can distribute images to further harm their victims or use technologies post-assault to contact, threaten or abuse their victims.