Online Text-Based (Sexual) Abuse

Jurasz, Olga and Barker, Kim (2023). Online Text-Based (Sexual) Abuse. In: Ali, Parveen and Rogers, Michaela eds. Gender-Based Violence: A Comprehensive Guide. Springer, pp. 541–554.



Text-based (sexual) abuse is a prevalent form of online violence against women. It frequently occurs on social media—such as Twitter, Facebook, Instagram—and takes forms of sexist and/or misogynistic comments, tweets, messages, but also threats of violence (both on- and offline). Despite its hypervisibility, especially on social media platforms, as well as its gendered nature, it is relatively rarely acknowledged as a form of gender-based violence. This chapter explores the phenomenon of text-based (sexual) abuse, outlining its emergence, scale, typology and impact. In particular, the discussion draws on the challenges in legal recognition of text-based (sexual) abuse as well as harms arising from it. As part of the chapter, the authors propose a progressive categorisation of harms arising from text-based (sexual) abuse, demonstrating its wide ranging consequences.

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