Victim blaming, responsibilization and resilience in online sexual abuse and harassment

Lisa Sugiura, April Smith

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter (peer-reviewed)peer-review


An unintended consequence of the expansion of digital technologies has been the growth of criminal activity shaping traditional offences in new and diverse ways. In particular, digital technologies have been used as tools to facilitate sexually based harms. Such harms are further exacerbated via the amplified responses to victimization that often accompany online sexual abuses, which are indicative of similar patterns of victim blaming to what has traditionally occurred offline. This chapter provides a conceptual exploration of how victims of sexual abuse and harassment online have been blamed or responsibilized, before considering the positive role of digital technologies in enabling activism and advocacy to challenge and raise awareness of not only online sexual abuses, but wider societal sexually based harms. The practical implications of activism are then examined in regards to the extent to which it can influence changes in attitude, policy and legislation.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationVictimology
Subtitle of host publicationResearch, Policy and Activism
EditorsPamela Davies, Jacki Tapley
PublisherPalgrave Macmillan Ltd.
Number of pages35
ISBN (Electronic)9783030422882
ISBN (Print)9783030422875
Publication statusPublished - 2 Jul 2020


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