Tackling gender-based technology-facilitated violence and abuse

This research, funded by a Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council (SSHRC) Race, Gender and Diversity Initiative Grant (936-2021-00275) to Veletsianos, Hodson, Gosse, and Mendes, seeks to understand how men think about gender-based online abuse, what types of behaviours they recognize as gender-based online abuse, and what role men believe they play in preventing and mitigating such abuse. In partnership with Anova, the ultimate aim of this project is to develop educational programming to:

1) increase men’s awareness and knowledge of gender-based online abuse and

2) teach practical, proactive bystander intervention techniques to empower men to act against gender-based online abuse.

The first stage of our project involved interviewing men who have witnessed gender-based online abuse to learn about how men conceptualize this topic. Insights gained from these interviews will be used to design a nationally-representative survey asking men across Canada about their thoughts on gender-based online abuse. In stage two, we will analyze existing bystander intervention training programs to examine whether and how they address gender-based online abuse, as well as interview key personnel at organizations offering these programs in order to understand their content, pedagogical approaches, and intended outcomes. Stage three incorporates all the data and insight from the previous two stages into the development and assessment, in conjunction with Anova and other partners, of gender-based online abuse awareness programming and online bystander intervention training for men.

We have mobilized our research efforts and results in diverse and multimodal ways for academic and non-academic audiences, including through peer-reviewed publications, presentations, op-eds, simulations, and research shorts.