Preventing tech-based gendered abuse

Friday 1 December 2023

We're pleased to announce that the Global Institute for Women's Leadership is one of the recipients of the $3 million eSafety Commissioner grant program, Preventing Tech-based Abuse of Women, announced by Minister for Communications Michelle Rowland this week.

This grant will support our new project combining state-of-the-art evidence and community engagement to develop a systems-based approach to preventing tech-based gendered abuse. We aim to deliver innovative interventions that are grounded in rigorous evidence and a suite of resources to guide the implementation and coordination of future prevention strategies. Our ultimate goal is to stop tech-based abuse before it starts and replace problematic attitudes, norms, and behaviours with positive ones.

This project will take an inclusive and intersectional approach to preventing tech-based abuse towards women and gender diverse people across intersections of identity, including but not limited to those living with disability, from culturally and linguistically diverse (CALD) backgrounds, Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communities, and people with diverse sexual and gender identities. However, rather than focus on "fixing" women, our approach and interventions will prioritize embedding change into systems and structures (e.g., organisations, online platforms), which includes changing the attitudes, behaviours, and cognitions of people who perpetrate or instigate abuse or are at risk of doing so.

eSafety Commissioner Julie Inman Grant said the projects demonstrated innovative approaches to support safe, gender-equal online spaces.

“Online abuse is strongly linked to family, domestic and sexual violence. All too frequently we see technology misused by perpetrators to harass, coerce and abuse women and children.

“Interventions like those funded today will help prevent gender-based tech abuse before it occurs, building community capability and nurturing violence-free online spaces.”

GIWL Director Michelle Ryan said, "Online spaces are the new frontier for gendered violence, which has escalated at alarming rates in recent years. Urgent action is needed to halt this epidemic of digital violence, which poses significant risk to women and gender diverse people both online and off.

"It’s not a case of 'fixing' women’s behaviour online to make them 'thicker skinned' or 'more confident', rather we must use the evidence to address the systemic issues driving the online violence so we can stop the abuse before it happens."

Updated:  2 December 2023/Responsible Officer:  Institute Director/Page Contact:  CASS Marketing & Communications